I am a modern grandmother. My granddaughter calls me “Baba Margaret” – and I fully expect the “Baba” (Russian for Grandma) will drop off in a few years. Like most grandmas, I’m busy these days. I manage two businesses and my granddaughter and I live in different countries and time zones.
Many women in our community have been forced to deal with a divorce after 60. These women are not alone. According to UK government statistics, divorce rates for women over 60 have increased significantly since 1991. This is despite the fact that overall divorce rates are down during the same period.
I ran into a friend last week who introduced her son, saying, “Say hi to Kyle, brought to you by the Unified School District and Pepsi, the choice of a new generation.”
Well, not really, but, in the past few years, many school districts have signed multi-million dollar marketing and vending partnerships whereby the company becomes the schools’ exclusive provider of vending machines of water and fruit juice. The revenue is to be used to create sponsorships supporting sports and physical education. One can only hope.
Summer is my favorite time of the year. When the sun is warm and my granddaughter comes to visit, everything is right in the world. Like many grandparents, I believe that I have a role to play in helping her to see the world beyond an iPhone screen. I want her to experience all of the elements – earth, wind, water and fire. Here are a few of the ways that I hope to enjoy the season. I hope that you find these ideas useful as you are planning your own summer activities.
There is a dreamlike quality to becoming a grandmother. In 50 or 60 years of life you have started new careers, taken on new roles and learned all kinds of new skills. Easy peasy! If you want to be a teacher or doctor there are plenty of books to read. When you become a grandmother, you have 9 months to get used to your new role and have hardly any idea where to even start.
The other day, I heard a comedienne tell a story about an experience that she had flying Delta, in coach. She said that the flight attendant walked through the aisle and asked if anyone wanted to read The Wall Street Journal. She remarked: “If I was the kind of person who read that paper, I’d be up front instead of back here!”
There has been a lot of talk lately about the increase in silver divorces among baby boomers. As our children leave the house and we start to look towards the coming decades, more of us are deciding to go it alone.
There are certain holidays like Valentine’s Day that put the word “love” under a magnifying glass. We use this word to embody so many emotions, ranging from trust and appreciation to passion and desire. The words we use to describe love say a lot about how we view the connections between people.
When parents are unable to raise their children, grandparents often step in. In the U.S., there are millions of grandparents raising grandchildren. These families are often called “grandfamilies.” Of course raising your own grandchildren is not without it’s challenges, but, it can also be rewarding.