Being There to Say the Final Goodbye

Two years ago this month, I sat beside my Pop Pop as he died. I can’t help but cry as I type that, but this isn’t a sad story. Pop Pop was 96 years old. He was born in 1916. By Sept. 13, 2012, the day he passed, he’d been my mom’s dad for almost exactly 60 years. He’d been my grandfather for 30. Running the numbers didn’t comfort me that day, though. It didn’t compute. My friend was taking …

George W. Bush Offers Bill Clinton Some Grandpa Advice

Grandfatherly advice trumps partisan politics, even among former commanders in chief. >> 23 Fabulous and Famous Grandmas President George W. Bush gave a heads-up to President Bill Clinton about how things will change in his family after Clinton welcomes his first grandchild. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting a baby sometime this fall. The two former heads of state from rival parties appeared together Monday at the Newseum in Washington to announce the Presidential Leadership Scholars …

Loving Long-Distance Grandparents Celebrate Grandparents Day

My grandparents were a big part of my life, even though they lived an eight-hour drive away. My parents have lived even farther away from most of their grandchildren. According to AARP’s 2012 grandparent study, we are not alone: 43 percent of grandparents have to travel 200-plus miles to see the grandchildren who live farthest from them. It was a challenge, but we spent most of our vacations with my grandparents. They also wrote us letters, and we talked regularly …

Who You Callin’ Grandma? Cool Names for Boomer Grandparents

My daughter is about to give birth, and I’m thrilled beyond words that a precious new life is entering the world, yada yada. But let’s get down to what’s really important: What do I want the baby — my first grandchild — to call me? Not Grandma. That moniker is quaint and oldfangled, and I am neither. No, in true boomer fashion I want my grandmother name to be fun, cool, inventive — or at the very least, not frumpy. …

Hug Your Parents, and 7 Other Lessons for New Grads

The day after graduation at Miami University in Ohio, I took a run through campus. Barricades blocked paths, and white party tents waited to be disassembled. Ikea shelves and desks and deck chairs lined curbs. Kids snapped last-minute photos, while moms and dads carried storage bins and hitched U-Haul trailers to the backs of SUVs. It had been a while since I’d seen this scene – about 10 years. I graduated from college in 2005 and, after a short stint …

How to Keep Peace at Family Gatherings

We’re all familiar with the scene, especially after the Passover and Easter holidays. The extended family sits down to dinner and a grandchild starts whining that he’s not hungry or eats the mashed potatoes with her hands or takes a dive under the table. As grandparents, we’re tempted to take charge and correct the behavior, but the wisest among us won’t say a word. Still, we don’t have to feel relegated to watching the gathering descend into chaos, says Melinda Blau, …