Olivia Gentile

The difference being a mother of a single daughter is that you become part of her family—which I think is very different from grandmothers in general … We come, we stay for a few days, there’s no tension about the son-in-law who’s wondering when we’re gonna leave, when he’s gonna have his family back. We have much more access to the grandchildren.

Judi, grandmother of four, Massachusetts

I’ve been very careful about not giving unsolicited advice to my kids about their children, because I think everybody has to make their own mistakes. My favorite thing to tell my children is, ‘Every day I did the best I could, and some days it was better than other days, but it was always the best I could do that day.’

Arlene, grandmother of four, New York

I believe that children in this country need a more robust literary diet than they are getting. It does not hurt them to read about good and evil, love and hate, life and death. Nor do I think they should read only about things that they understand. ‘A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.’ So should a child’s … I will never talk down to—or draw down to—children.

Barbara Cooney (1917-2000)