When your grandma is Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Granddaughter: “You Know Her as the Notorious RBG, but She’s Bubbie to Me”

In the late summer of 1993, two weeks after Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as a justice on the United States Supreme Court, she hosted her granddaughter’s third birthday party in the courthouse.

“I realize now that my birthday party wasn’t held there to show off or because the Court’s such an impressive space,” writes Clara Spera, whose mother is Ginsburg’s daughter. “[I]t was because she wanted me to know, from the age of three, that my grandmother, my Bubbie, worked there, and that I shouldn’t consider anything out of my reach.”

Clara recently graduated from Harvard Law School and is now clerking for a federal judge.

Glamour • May 4, 2018

Why grandmothers may hold the key to human evolution

Scientists used to think that male hunters were responsible for the early success of our species. But in recent decades, they’ve realized that prehistoric hunters didn’t bring home nearly enough meat to feed their families, and that the roots, tubers, and nuts gathered by women were likely more important.

And it wasn’t just young women who gathered these crucial calories: it was grandmas, too.

NPR • June 7, 2018

Figuring out what it means to be a grandmother

“Growing up in a community of Holocaust survivors and their children in Melbourne, Australia, I didn’t know many grandparents. So now that I’ve got grandchildren of my own, I’ve had to figure out for myself exactly what being a grandmother means.”

Tablet • May 31, 2018

The age of grandparents is made of many tragedies

The proportion of children being raised by their grandparents has doubled in the United States since 1970, and it’s risen significantly in the past five years alone—largely due to the opioid epidemic.

“Even while grandparents offer stability and consistency to children whose previous lives might have been chaotic, grandfamilies suffer from a particular kind of precariousness. For a variety of reasons, most grandparents are not licensed foster-care providers, don’t have custody or guardianship of their grandchildren, and thus don’t have legal standing to make decisions regarding the children’s schooling, medical care, or vacation plans.”

The Atlantic • June 1, 2018