As a boy, Allen Say barely knew his grandpa. As a man, he came to understand him. That’s why he created Grandfather’s Journey, a picture book for which he won the Caldecott Medal in 1994.
Would her grandma remember her? Jane Kim, 41, wasn’t sure. It had been 23 years since she’d last visited her in Korea, and she was nearly 100 years old.
Grandparents matter in profound, enduring, and sometimes unexpected ways. That’s what I learned from these recordings, which were made by three American families for the oral history project StoryCorps.
In 2015, I wrote 75 stories, some of which were more popular than others. Here are the 10 that got the most clicks. Happy reading and Happy New Year!
“Imagine it: During the holidays, instead of using gadgets to ignore each other, we might use them as an excuse to look each other in the eye and listen.”
This time of year, I always think of my grandma Mia, who made me feel safe, special, and loved for 22 years.
Nearly three million American grandparents are raising at least one of their grandkids, but there’s hardly anywhere they can turn for support. Here are the best national resources I’ve come across.
Here’s some shopping advice that ran in the New-York Herald Tribune on December 1, 1914 under the headline “Gifts for the Grandparent.”
Shouldn’t grandparents matter as much in movies as they do in real life?
The story behind the famous poem about a boy who’s bursting with excitement to see his grandparents on Thanksgiving.
When Marsha Boyer was diagnosed with cancer, she feared her grandkids would never know her. Here’s what happened next.
More and more older Americans are giving money to their children and grandchildren, and the amount they’re giving is rising.
Here’s a beautiful video about the national Foster Grandparent program, which pairs volunteers ages 55 and over with children who need a tutor, a mentor, or both.
The legendary anthropologist Margaret Mead was homeschooled for most of her childhood by her grandmother, an iconoclast who rejected rote instruction as “stultifying” and emphasized learning by doing instead.
A family of elephants is led by its eldest female, who’s often a grandma many times over. And the older she is, the better, scientists have learned.
Her son was wounded in Iraq. But Gail Kirby has a lot to celebrate.
Stanley and Madelyn Dunham didn’t know many black people until their daughter fell in love with a college classmate from Africa.
When her son died in 2012, Denise Villescaz “saw no light,” she says. Then, two years later, her granddaughters were born.
A quest for justice in Argentina.
“Having grandchildren expands your heart beyond all boundaries you’ve ever known,” says Elaine Dove of Tustin, Calif. “It’s like loving your children on steroids.”
Tammi Williams, whose daughter is gay, was “horrified and scared” when she and her wife decided to have a baby with the help of a male friend they barely knew. But then, Tammi says, everything changed.
It’s not important that children know about nature, Rachel Carson believed; what matters is that they delight in it. But they won’t unless they’re shown the way, she warned.
The media paints grandparents as old, but studies show most of them aren’t.
A housewife from West Virginia fought for years to get a national holiday for grandparents declared. In 1978, she won.
Isn’t it time we discarded the myths and misconceptions about grandparents and started giving them their due?
Babysitting for grandkids may boost your wellbeing, but if you’re pressured into providing care, you may suffer.
“Standing at one remove from the new partnership, and all the hue and cry the blending of a family can involve, they have the potential to play a unique role for the stepgrandchild—part grandparent, part wise, trusted confidante.”
There are a lot of good reasons to move closer to your grandkids. Then again, there are some good reasons to stay where you are. I asked some grandparents who made the move what happened next.
A virtuoso celebrates his grandpa.
A little girl finds a home.
Maybe I would have made it through my 20s without him. But, to be honest, I can’t imagine how.
Kay Falvey, 89, presides joyfully over a massive clan.
Mary Walker and her 17-year-old grandson are taking swimming lessons together at a pool in Tulsa, Okla.
Parents and grandparents need one another. How can they learn to get along?
Mary Cassatt painted this portrait of her mother, nephew, and nieces on a family vacation near Paris in the summer of 1880.
A grandma in Massachusetts saves “every single thing” her granddaughters scribble, paint, sculpt, and glue.
A short tribute to my grandmother, who lived to 94.
A new book profiles more than 50 black women who suffered brutal discrimination as children but survived to make a better life—and a better world—for their heirs.
“It’s important to remember the White House is such a bizarre place,” says the author of a recent book on the Obamas. “I think Mrs. Robinson acts as a calming presence.”
A poem by David McCord (1897-1997).
There’s not enough good art about the bond between kids and their grandparents, so I asked Rebecca Layton, an illustrator based in Austin, to create some.
Isabel Allende, a novelist with millions of readers around the world, says her grandparents shaped both her character and her career.
A.J. Jacobs, a journalist and bestselling author, thinks he can build a family tree for all of humanity. Here’s what he told me about his project, his grandparents, and his most famous ancestor.
Cathy Williams, 62, and her granddaughter, Chelsea Washington, both earned bachelor’s degrees this spring from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee.
This poem was written in 1962, but it’s pretty timeless, don’t you think?
Grandparents have been going to bat for their grandkids for hundreds of thousands of years, a new study of South American foragers suggests.
A letter from a grateful mother whose husband was deployed a dozen times.
… and other things my grandma taught me.
Politicians in Britain have realized that grandparents are struggling to balance work and childcare just as parents are.
How a woman who never had kids became a grandma.