Grandparents Day - 9.10

Saying hi to grandma may have to be through the window or over the phone right now, but it still counts.

Any grandparent will likely tell you there is nothing more rewarding in life than having grandchildren. I am blessed with eight of them, ranging in age from 18 to 2, and another one due next Spring. I was also lucky enough to have one particular grandparent that I was especially close to; so I fully understand that special bond now from both sides.

This Sunday, Sept. 13, is a day that has been set aside to honor our grandparents. In 1970, Marian McQuade initiated a campaign to establish such a day, and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. In the proclamation it says:

“The elders of each family have the responsibility for setting the moral tone for the family and for passing on the traditional values of our Nation to their children and grandchildren. They bore the hardships and made the sacrifices that produced much of the progress and comfort we enjoy today. It is appropriate, therefore, that as individuals and as a nation, that we salute our grandparents for their contribution to our lives.”

The grandparent/grandchild relationship today looks quite a bit different than it did in 1978 when these words were penned.

According to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 1.3 million grandparents in the labor force are responsible for most of the basic care of co-resident grandchildren under the age of 18.

Among grandparents not responsible for the care of co-resident grandchildren, an additional 2+ million are in the workforce.

Both of my grandmas wore dresses all the time, and generally an apron. Neither worked outside the home.

Today’s grandparents are busy, active, and juggling careers with family time. We do our best to attend ball games, school programs and birthday parties - and with today’s technology that is often done remotely.

Our life expectancy has increased, as has financial security among older Americans, which means older people spend more time in retirement with potentially greater time available to spend with grandchildren.

Grandparents play an influential role in the lives of their grandchildren, and Grandparents Day is a perfect opportunity to show your grandparents how important they are to you.

Trust me - hearing that will mean the world to them.

Contact Ellen Mortensen at ellen@gothenburgleader.com or call 308.537.9498