Soon after I
joined the ‘grandpa’ world I started to outline plots and write anecdotes and
vignettes that I kept separate from my other writings. The new file would be my stock of
ideas and outlines for read-aloud grandpa yarns and expanded to their intended
length as soon as grandchild was ready to listen. Meanwhile, I would background
a few of my plots with friends. It so happened that they passed the word and I
got invitations to ‘chat’ from neighborhood social groups and retirement communities.
During one of
my adult sessions a woman in the group remarked, ‘I’m a volunteer helper in a
class of first graders at (naming a nearby school.) I haven’t given it much
thought until now, but I’ve come to realize that some youngsters see their
grandparents regularly, others rarely, and still others see their grandparents
not at all. For a few, grandparents live too far away, and other youngsters
don’t know where their grandparents live or even if they have grandparents, but
saddest of all are the kids who don’t know what grandparents are.’
over the years that grandparents and grandchildren are natural allies, but when
their homes are too far apart, or other barriers intervene, their alliance
weakens. Everybody loses, including the generation in the middle – the child’s
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