This Sunday, September 8th is National Grandparents Day. If you’re thinking “just another commercially created holiday to sell flowers and cards,” think again.
- Grandparents Day is a result of a grassroots effort in the 1970s by West Virginian Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, who spent much of her life working as an advocate for older adults, and sought to honor them with this day. (As a mother to 15, grandmother to 43, and great grandmother to 10, McQuade deserved to be honored as well!)
- In 1979, President Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day each year as National Grandparents Day.
- The day is intended to honor grandparents, encourage families to connect across the generations, and inspire in children a greater awareness of all that older adults have to offer.
As a 53-year old mother to a six-year old, I don’t know if I’ll experience grandparenthood some day. I do know I am routinely mistaken for Hope’s grandmother out in public! That’s one reason why I love being out and about with my daughter and mother at the same time; it seems to clear up the confusion!
But what matters most to me is that my daughter Hope is making memories with her grandma. My 80-year old mom is there for her unconditionally, just as she’s been there for me my entire life.
My husband and I also make a point of sharing stories about our fathers with Hope. We are all sad they died before she was born. It heightens our focus on nurturing the connections between Hope and our mothers.
As we were blessed with Hope through an open adoption, we also celebrate our meaningful relationships with Hope’s birth grandparents as well.
This Sunday will find me thinking once again of my own grandparents: the Italian grandparents who taught me to love Italian operas and cuisine, and the mid-western grandparents who delighted me and my siblings with handmade ornaments, poker lessons, tins of divinity, and hours spent reading our first Golden Books.
This Sunday, why not make more memories with the grandparents in your lives, or honor their memories by doing something you loved doing together. For inspiration, check out these ideas from Grandparents.com.