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Grandparent Love, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Release Date: 02/15/2021

The Power of Story, Part 3 show art The Power of Story, Part 3

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Emily wraps up the third episode on "the power of stories" with a chat with an executive from Scholastic, Inc.--the source of all those books sold to grade-school students from newsletters and book fairs. Their conversation took place just before World Read-Aloud Day, which framed their talk about grandparents reading aloud to their grands. THE STRETCH IT TAKES (Emily's Essay): The Genetics of Reading   When I visited the home of my maternal grandparents, I don’t remember seeing a book in any room of the house. It was a stark contrast to our own house with books in each room and a...

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The Power of Story, Part 2 show art The Power of Story, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Continuing the theme from last episode, Emily speaks with a 93-year-old grandfather, author, and active advocate of capturing and then "unleashing" grandparent stories. His creative partner in their website adds helpful details about a program that helps grands become powerful and prolific story-makers. SHOW NOTES Jerry and Deanna's website is grandparentsunleashed.com, and  Jerry's book is The Grandest Love, available .

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The Power of Story, Part 1 show art The Power of Story, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

How well do your grands know your story? Emily travels (virtually) to Trinidad to speak with Felicia Chang, a professional in the area of capturing the personal stories of our families, with a special emphasis our elders. Your story has worth and power...and is of priceless value to your grands. EPISODE NOTES Felicia Chang's TEDx Talk about how the stories of our loved ones connect us all is . Her business has a and a . This is Felicia with her dear grandmother, the subject of her movie and the inspiration of her view on capturing stories.

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Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 2 show art Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Continuing last episode's theme, this time Emily talks with a grandparent in the US and a parent in France whose extended relationships span oceans, languages, and cultures. Adventure seasoned with selflessness is the recipe. THE STRETCH IT TAKES (Emily's essay)   “We’re moving to Brussels.” Those words shocked me even though I was twenty-one, living in my own apartment and working on my graduate degree. My parents called from NH to inform me that my dad had taken a job in Belgium. “Where is that?” was my immediate reply. (I was in grad school for English Lit, and obviously...

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Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 1 show art Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Back in Season 2, we did an episode on Long-Distance Grandparenting which proved to be a popular subject. When the distances are really long--international--you'd think it would be harder. The pandemic has made distance less of a factor that it once was, so experienced global grandparents can teach lessons almost all of us can apply. EPISODE SHOW NOTES Learn more about Emily's guest, author Helen Ellis, at https://www.distancefamilies.com. Her book will be out in April, 2021. 

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Grandparent Educators, Part 2 show art Grandparent Educators, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Some grandparents have the time, talent, and access to become directly involved with their grands' education. Emily talks with two grandparents and a teacher who have done or seen this firsthand, which may give you ideas on how to approach this in your extended family. SHOW NOTE Learn more about Emily's third guest, Sandra Williams, from her and her book, .  

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Grandparent Educators, Part 1 show art Grandparent Educators, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Grandparents can play a range of roles in their grands' education. In Part 1 on this topic, Emily talks with a retired teacher whose journey through racial segregation in the 1950s shaped her commitment to supporting the schooling of her descendants. Emily's essay is a revealing self-portrait of a third grader, a pen pal, and a missed opportunity Emily's guest Kaaren Rodman provides details on her family's scholarship: "Our family has set up a scholarship that is awarded through the Indianapolis Urban League. Mike and I did smaller grants for several years in the 90's, one for each set of...

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Grandparent Love, Part 2 show art Grandparent Love, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

The centerpiece of this episode is Emily's interview with best-selling author Barbara Graham, who has written about the collected experiences of gifted and famous grandmothers. There are lessons to be learned from her work... and from Emily's essay about loving our grands well with the time we find. Learn more about Emily's guest and her work at .    The Stretch It Takes: Competing With Time (Emily's Essay)   If there’s one thing that this pandemic has taught me, it’s that time looks and feels different to different people, depending on their age and their...

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Grandparent Love, Part 1 show art Grandparent Love, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

To begin Season 4, Emily talks with two members of her network on how to put our love for our grands into action--with purpose, and intentionality, and clever ideas.  The payoff is a richer relationship, even when it's largely a long-distance one. To learn more about our two guests visit and .         

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Spotlight on Emily show art Spotlight on Emily

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

While we take a break between seasons of The Grand Life Podcast, we're inviting host Emily Morgan to the guest's chair for a change. With husband and producer Mike, she covers choosing content, finding guests, and balancing the living of The Grand Life with her podcasting about it.

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The centerpiece of this episode is Emily's interview with best-selling author Barbara Graham, who has written about the collected experiences of gifted and famous grandmothers. There are lessons to be learned from her work... and from Emily's essay about loving our grands well with the time we find.

Learn more about Emily's guest and her work at barbaragrahamonline.com

 

The Stretch It Takes: Competing With Time (Emily's Essay)

  If there’s one thing that this pandemic has taught me, it’s that time looks and feels different to different people, depending on their age and their circumstances. When you’re young, Time is a sloth. It drags. You will never finish 3rd grade, you will never go to high school, you will never drive a car.

  When you’re in your middle years, Time speeds up a bit. You have to get that college essay finished, you have to update your resume, you have to finish painting the baby’s nursery. But, still, Time is taking its sweet self while you’re working towards that advanced degree, interviewing for a new job, or waiting for the birth of your baby. 

  When you hit about the middle 50’s and beyond, Time accelerates. Your children are packing up and moving out; your basement is filled to the brim and needs a good cleaning; you have taxes, bills, and home improvements to schedule.

  And then when grandchildren come....Lord help us all. Time begins freelancing as the road runner. It’s out of control. At the same time you are slowing down considerably,  Time is running laps around you, doubling back, and coming around again. This, I’ve concluded, is why a grandparent’s love is so intense. For an older individual, Time’s value has shot up like a good stock market investment. 

  A year to a grandchild seems like an eternity. To a grandparent, it is just a blip. (A very important blip, because by the time you’re our age, blips are all you’ve got). So the intensity of wanting to see your grandchildren, to hug them, to embrace every moment is not borne out of need so much as awareness. You know that Time is playing its dirty trick on you; that this grandchild is only a child for a moment, and the pandemic is pocketing the moments like a skilled shoplifter at the grocery store.

  I find myself sometimes enraged that Time is winning. This pandemic has given Time a head start in a race I know will be over before I’m ready. Give me back the walks, the meet-ups at the ice cream parlor, the soccer games, and the birthday parties. I want them back now, I raise my fist and yell at Time. And yet...there Time goes, running circles around me, and around me, and around me. It’s very disorienting, and for many of us discouraging. 

  We have had to stretch in a way that seems impossible. But we are strong and resilient, and (for the most part), not whiny. We have one advantage over Time. We have great love...and I believe Love beats Time every time. Love doesn’t run circles around people, it encircles people. While Time leaves us in the dust, Love showers us with warmth and happiness.

  So what do we do with the abundance of love for our grands that we possess?  We lovingly remove the items Time has pocketed. We forgive Time its youth and inexperience, and we take Time to task. So much of what I’m learning about grandparenting is that I may not be able to control circumstances around me, but I can take charge of my own life, my grandparenting, and my intentions. There is a famous quote that says “time is non-refundable; use it with intention.” And so while I wish I could ask for a refund, I will do everything I can to redeem the Zoom calls, the notes I write, the FaceTime conversations, and the lucky moments when I get to see my grandchildren, even if masks and distance are required. Love wins. 

  As for Time? Time won’t heal the wounds it has created during this pandemic, but Love can. 

© 2021 Emily Morgan