Japanese millennials are building lives with their grandparents

Every day, I read what journalists around the world are reporting about grandparents and their families. Here are some stories that gripped me recently.

Making “mago-turn” to live near grandparents

In search of meaning, urban 20-somethings in Japan are migrating to the countryside to live with or near their grandparents. 

“I don’t have to ride a packed train. I work less overtime. I feel like my life has become richer,” says Taro Nakazawa, 24, who recently moved from Chigasaki, a mid-sized city, to Hokuto, the farming town where his paternal grandparents live. 

Taro is living with his grandparents and working for the local tourism bureau.

“I’m enjoying living with him because he makes our home lively,” says his grandpa, who’s 89.

“He helps me with heavy work,” says his grandma, 84. “I really appreciate it.”

The Japan News • May 29, 2017

Grandbabies: The great reward for aging

As journalist and grandmother Lesley Stahl writes, grandparents are more involved with and more important to their grandchildren than ever before.

What do they get in return? Purpose, joy, and a love “unfettered and pure.”

The New York Times • May 13, 2017

Waltham grandmother’s college ‘Nanagram’ tradition ends after 20 years

Every week for the last 20 years, Mary La Cava of Waltham, Massachusetts sent a short note and a $20 bill to each of her college-aged grandkids. 

“It was really nice being 18, being away from home for the first time, and having a weekly hello,” recalls Lauren LaCava, one of Mary’s 12 grandkids.

Some of the kids spent the money right away, while others put it in the bank, says Mary, 92.

The youngest, Ryan, graduates this spring. Recently, she mailed him her final “Nanagram.” 

“Short and sweet, but he got his $20.”

WBZ-TV • May 12, 2017

Stafford high school junior takes terminally ill grandmother to prom

“She doesn’t have much time left, so I didn’t even have to think about the decision to take her to prom,” says Stephen Vigil, 17, of Fredericksburg, Virginia. “I’m so glad we’ll both have these memories.”

The Free Lance-Star • May 23, 2017