Thirty days has September and one of these days is very special: Grandparents Day, held on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year it’s on September 8th.
The purpose of this observance is best expressed in the proclamation made in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter:
“The elders of each family have the
responsibility for setting the moral tone
for the family and for passing on the
traditional values of our nation to their
children and grandchildren.”
The message seems more pertinent these days than ever as our youth are faced with problems and pressures like never before. Social media, the internet, and TV and film bombard young, impressionable minds with messages of violence, promiscuous sex, drug and alcohol use.
Today’s young people worry about body image, bullying, athletic performance, college admissions, and, sadly, whether they will get shot at school that day.
With so many dually-employed parents, grandparents often play a critical role by providing childcare, help with homework, and rides to and from school and after-school programs. Some are tasked with the full responsibility of bringing up grandchildren because the
parents are unable or unwilling to do so, often because of substance abuse issues.
Other grandparents may not have close contact with grandchildren because of divorce, difficult relationships with their own children, or physical distance, but many manage to stay in touch and show their love with cards, phone calls, gifts and video chats.
The Grandparents Day flower is, fittingly, the forget-me-not, so be sure to remember and honor those family members who share not only their love but their wisdom and values.
If possible, spend the day with them. Explore a park. Paint a picture together. Go out to dinner. Mow their yard. Even something as simple as a homemade card or phone call can go a long way towards making Grandma and Grandpa happy.
As they always taught you: It’s the thought that counts.
See you in October!