grandparents santa cruz
September 2019

Celebrating Grandparents

By Linda Kay

September 8th is Grandparents Day. While cynics may believe this day of celebration was created by Hallmark, the truth is that it was proposed by Congress to be celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day. President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation back in 1978.

Grandparenting with a Passion

Wes and Judy Wick of Scotts Valley, founders of YES! Young Enough to Serve, whose goal is to “Make life’s second half count” say, “Don’t settle for blasé ‘bland-parenting’ or over-the-top ‘spoiling the grandkids’. Step into that grand role with deeper value and purpose, quite possibly the most significant opportunity of life’s second half.”

“The relationship with our four grandchildren has been one of the greatest joys of my life. They keep me young and up on things and their love and appreciation of me fills me with joy and gratitude. We’ve done on-line games for years from Webkinz to Minecraft. I’ve taken them to Music Together and Lil Chef classes. We go to plays and sporting events that they’re in. We pray for them daily.” – Mari Harrower

grandparents santa cruz

It is such a wonderful experience to be so much more relaxed with our grandkids than when we were raising our own kids. Examples of some of our special dates with our grandkids include Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Petroglyph, banana splits at the Mount Hermon Fountain, ‘She Is Beautiful’ races, hikes and fishing.”  – Cay Thornley

Distance sometimes can become a barrier, keeping grandparents from connecting with their grandchildren, but not for Rob and Terry Johnson, of Boulder Creek. They connect with their preschool granddaughters living in San Diego with a weekly puppet show via Skype with Hairy the puppet

Marianne Waggoner, author of Camp Grandma, says, “I have come to understand and appreciate that grandparents come with a whole life of experience, along with wisdom and perspective. If our focus is primarily on amusing and entertaining, then we may be missing out on the greater opportunity to play a meaningful role in our grandkids’ intellectual, behavioral, and social development.”

Voices of Beneficiaries

“My mother-in-law taught my kids a love for museums. She instilled a love that they carry today, 20 years later.” – Michele Lafferty

To hear about historical events through the first-hand accounts of my grandparents, I have a better understanding of the world. My grandparents have introduced me to hobbies that define parts of myself. I learned how to shoot an arrow, work wood, play the ukulele, sail a sailboat, tell riddles, bodysurf, tell stories, be a host, and to love unconditionally all from my Grandparents.” – Luke Thornley

“My mom’s voice is the voice that my children hear about themselves, the voice that quietly says you are loved, you are brave, you can do it, let God’s love shower in your heart.” – Kim Richards

“My mom encourages vacations to places we wouldn’t have otherwise gone. She provides a portal and connection to the older generation’s life. My boys experience grandma as an everyday figure.  They enjoy bowling, pool time, playing cards, and occasional vacations away without me!” – Jessica Sterns

“My grandmother was my shelter between mom’s divorces.” – Barbara Lockwood 

“My mom retired when my oldest, started kindergarten, so she could pick him up from school every day. She volunteered in the school. She took him to swim lessons and spent quality time with him. At the end of that school year I had my 2nd child, 18 months later my 3rd and 15 months later my 4th. She baked with them, read with them, did and gardening. All of my kids are adults, 22, 23, 25 and 31 – they are wonderful, caring people and I know my mom was a big part of that.” – Linda Landers 

My grandparents were there for me during the years I didn’t have a voice. I used to hide and be silent and they would listen to my whispers. – Brianna Ralston

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