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Wishing you a new year of good health, happiness and joyous times Get free with the grandkids!

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5 Tips

for the mother of the bride

Family secrets

What to tell grandchildren

Back to the future

Multi-generational living returns

Healthy Gifts for Active Grands



Believing in Magic

Earvin & Cookie Johnson

No trees were harmed in the making of this magazine





New Year With Attitude SPECIAL SECTION for New GRANDparents

Dedicated to leading the way towards a better tomorrow. By empowering people, providing resources and building participation, together we can inspire change and improve our communities. The Magic Johnson Foundation, founded by Earvin “Magic� Johnson in 1991, works to develop programs and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.

Magic Johnson Foundation is recognized as a nonprofit public charity under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

grand view

OMG! It’s 2017! Dear Reader,

What’s wrong with what we eat?


Me with my GRANDbaby, Poppy

uck Up, Buttercup!” That was a favorite expression of a vibrant, outspoken friend we lost to cancer last November. We dedicate this first issue of 2017 to Sharon Smith-Gey, who lived a full and fascinating life as wife, mother, grandmother, entrepreneur, friend, muse, and matriarch. Sharon was also a vital partner to this magazine…it is fair to say, we would not be here without her. Please read more about this remarkable woman who is missed every day. Are you like me, feeling fat as a tick after the holidays? It’s no accident, then, that this is the HEALTH & FITNESS issue. Most of us can use a little inspiration about intake (diet) and our output (exercise). The free ride of youth is over, but we can still command our fates with a little effort. I am inspired by Magic and Cookie Johnson and the insights Cookie was willing to share about their most difficult moments as a family. For generations, Americans have derided multi-generational living, as if the isolated nuclear family with 2.4 kids was some sort of ideal, perhaps the result of aggressive marketing of single family homes, post-WWII. Grandparents lived a thousand miles away and ‘distant relative’ referred to almost all of them. Lori Bitter updates us on what is working.

With my best to you and your family, Christine Crosby Co-Founder, CEO

In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat. We want to lose weight and be green and reduce heart disease but we don’t want to put much effort into it. Bittman reveals the truth: we only have to do one thing.




2017 - Buck up Buttercup! What’s wrong with the food we eat?


9 29 TRIBUTE – SHARON SMITH-GEY 36 Saying goodbye – The Room


Living better longer may require change

Cookie Johnson Read and listen to this fascinating interview





Gold medal grandparenting

12 23



Could it work for your family?


Making beautiful music with your grandbaby (in more ways than one)


32 33 35


How to live an AWESOME life


What to do when g-kids ask about family secrets


The power of a baby blessing

39 41 43


Grandparents to the rescue… but now what?


When grandparents get schooled


So, your daughter’s getting married


It’s 2017…do you know what your dreams are?


Technology for all ages – from 3 to 103


Cool gifts for health-conscious grands

Click here to listen and learn from GRAND Magazine Radio


Grit and ingenuity alive and well in small town America


grand central

Change today for more tomorrows Nutrition Action Healthletter: It’s real information

from smart people who don’t care what anyone thinks about it. The ‘world’s largest-circulation health newsletter’ is produced by a nonprofit that uncovers facts; what’s good and what is killing us. Science, not marketing. Some household names offer dreadful products (not calling it ‘food’). Do yourself or someone you love a life-changing favor and subscribe.

“I want to be healthy, live a long time, and be close to my grandkids and great-grandkids,” say most grandparents. The crowd starts to thin out if you ask how many are willing to make sustained lifestyle changes. One challenge: competing claims of vendors hawking shiny objects. The resulting confusion is enough to send you to the couch with a bag of Doritos and a can of Cheez Whiz. But I will share two science-based resources that have been life-changing for us (there’s that change word again). 5 GRAND


The Resolution – If fixing all your faults in one

Forks Over Knives: It’s a movie.

With a plot. Fun to watch…not an infomercial. You must see it. First, watch the trailer. It has literally changed how we see the future. I won’t ruin the ending, but it’s good! Danny DeVito said, “It’s a trip.”

day with an act of willpower hasn’t worked, consider adopting the idea of Kaizen, the Japanese business practice of incremental but continuous improvement. Usually, what we eat is the first resolution to be un-resolved. Consider: 1. Eat healthy foods you like 2. Replace one sugary drink per day with water 3. Eat your veggies first 4. Go meatless one day per week 5. Make a small snack more satisfying 6. Be grateful – when you’re in a bad mood you’re inclined to eat unhealthy food so practice gratitude and improve your mood.

FDA has decided to share bad news – and that’s good!

An ‘adverse event’ is FDA-speak for bad reactions, illness or death related to food, supplements and cosmetics. For the first time, this information will be easily available to the general public. Do you remember Hydroxycut and liver damage? That was an ‘adverse event’, and it used to take an FOIA request to get these reports of negative results. That’s changing. Read it all at FDA Voice Continued on next page

grand central Does your body feel like a new Ferrari?

Or, do you shy away from certain activities because you don’t have the vitality you once had? If you crave a healthier lifestyle there’s a new company named Clar8ty that’s changing the conversation about the way we age and more importantly what we can do to prevent many

of the chronic ailments afflicting millions. Here’s what Karin M recently said about her experience with Clar8ty’s products: Check out Cla8ty and their nutritional drink for adults and kids here.

What in the world is a dementia village?

Revolutionize the way you live and eat – Here is a 21-day plan to detox, fight inflammation, and reset your body

You can experience what it feels like to be symptom-free in any stage of your life. In Eating Clean, Amie Valpone will show you how to choose a path that will get your body working for you and not against you. You’ll have more energy; feel vibrant, healthy and strong; have clear skin; lose weight; banish those cravings and live symptom-free without dieting, deprivation or calorie counting. This book just might help get you on a path to feeling healthy again.

A hard-working app that’s good for you…

It’s called ‘Health’ and this amazing app does it all. Maybe you use technology to track nutrition, to do yoga, or monitor your exercise…this app combines that information and more so you can see what a great job you’re doing! And it recommends other helpful apps to round out your collection.



A diagnosis of dementia can be paralyzing for the victim and loved ones. How do you plan for the future when today is so difficult and you don’t know what ‘future’ even means? How will you live? A care facility in the Netherlands called Hogewey Dementia Village has created a whole new level of compassionate care for dementia victims. What do you think…could this work here? Read about Hogewey on this site that offers inspired products and insightful information: Best Alzheimer’s Products. Also from this excellent site: New to Caregiving? We suggest you start by reading: 1. A Pocket Guide For the Alzheimer’s Caregiver 2. The Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease 3. Activities for Alzheimer’s Disease 4. Alzheimer’s Caregiver Resources 5. Communicating with the Person with Alzheimer’s


Catch some zzz’s with these 8 tips BY DR. KEVIN M. DUPREY, D.O.


Skip the Nightcap, Afternoon Latte, and Cigarettes Alcohol can make it easier to fall asleep, but reduces deep sleep. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can interfere with sleep. Caffeine stays in your system up to 14 hours, nicotine for a week. Snack Smarter I’m pretty certain peanut butter before bed gives me nightmares. I haven’t seen any scientific studies to prove my theory but I know protein and fat take longer to digest than carbohydrates. Need a bedtime snack? Think jelly sandwich. Be a Vampire Bright light can inhibit the release of melatonin. Turn off your TV, cell phone and computer…unless you’re reading GRAND. Or, adjust their brightness. If you get up during the night, avoid turning on a light by getting a night light.



eeling good starts with a good night’s sleep. Establish a Routine The circadian rhythm -- your biological clock --is deeply ingrained in your neurophysiology. Two hours before your regular bedtime, your brain releases increasing levels of melatonin, a sleep hormone. If you don’t have a regular bedtime, or stay up late watching Netflix, you might miss out on your body’s natural way of tucking you in. Pick a designated bedtime and stick with it. Move More Studies show exercise can make it easier to fall and stay asleep. Even a 20-minute walk helps.




SAVE 25% On Books & Activities For Kids and Their Grandparents! Looking for fun things to do with your grandchildren? Dover publishes thousands of high-quality children’s books for all ages at the lowest prices around. Read, share and explore together for some good old-fashioned fun and quality time!

Draw • Cook • Teach

Read • Color • Craft


Continue Reading Dr. Kevin DuPrey specializes in sports medicine and enjoys working with patients of all ages and abilities. His holistic approach is to look at the whole picture and help prevent future injuries. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on Crozer-Keystone Health System’s blog, Healthbeat.

To SAVE 25% on ALL Children’s Books CLICK HERE NO minimum order required • Use Code WJAG at checkout • Expires June 30, 2017

grandfather knows best

Gold Medal Grandfathering BY KEN R. CANFIELD


he world witnessed a gold medal celebration of grandfathering years ago when Jim Shea Jr., won the sledding gold medal in the Salt Lake City Olympics. His grandfather, Jack Shea, had won two gold medals in speed skating years earlier in the Lake Placid games. The grandson-grandfather gold medal winners had hopes of being together in Salt Lake, but Jack Shea was killed in a car accident only one month before the games began. During his race, Jim Jr. carried a picture of his granddad inside his helmet. After crossing the finish line and seeing he had won, Jim yanked off his helmet and held up the photo for all to see. Later, at the awards ceremony, Jim wore one of his grandfather’s gold medals on the podium. Though Jack Shea wasn’t present, he was very well represented by his grandson.

Remember you are magic in the eyes of your grandchildren.

Their story likely resonates with grandfathers. Researchers Neugarten and Weinstein agree. As early as 1964, they identified five categories of personal significance that grandfathers receive when they’re connected to their grandchildren. 1. Biological renewal and continuity. With a high degree of commitment between a grandfather and grandchild, the grandfather’s empowered to feel young again sensing that his character and values can extend beyond his lifetime. 2. Emotional fulfillment. This comes with the sheer joy of being related to such adorable and talented grandchildren. 3. Being a useful resource. Grandfathers are sources of advice, family history, and some financial support. 8 GRAND


4. Vicarious achievement. Grandfathers can feel personal pride in a grandchild’s performance or character. 5. Indulgence. It’s gratifying to spoil those grandchildren occasionally. Researcher Judd Swihart found after interviewing grandfathers and their grandchildren that grandfathers significantly undervalued their influence on their grandchildren. Or, as Dr. Arthur Kornhaber has said, remember you are magic in the eyes of your grandchildren. As a grandfather you have a golden opportunity to pass on heritage, values, and support to future generations you

may never see. Take time, be proactive and intentional, and make the most of every moment you have. It’s a magical relationship which will yield benefits to you and your grandchildren.

Ken with one of his 11 grandchildren, Tenley

Ken R Canfield, Ph.D is the founder of the National Center for Fathering and most recently the National Association for Grandparenting, at Grands Matter, www. He is a regular reader of GRAND Magazine and believes the golden age of grandparenting is beginning to dawn.

grand home

Back to the future at home BY LORI BITTER


ulti-generational living is making a comeback after a 35-year low. As recently as 1940, about 25% of Americans lived in a household with two generations of adults. Many people of the Baby Boom generation recall living in a home with one or both grandparents, in addition to their parents. Young women typically remained in the family home until marriage and sometimes after. The post-war boom and the development of the suburbs to house the children of the boom contributed greatly to this style of living falling out of favor. The idea crept into the public consciousness that grandparents living in multigenerational households interfered with the running of the households and with the parenting of children. That



led to a sentiment that living multi-generationally meant you weren’t as successful financially. This message slammed many immigrant families whose cultural expectations supported living together and caring for elders while raising small children. At the same time, Social Security enabled older people to live with more financial stability. By 1980, multigenerational living hit an all-time low of 12% of the population. Today’s current upswing is the result of a number of factors. A Pew Research Center analysis of census data reveals, “As of 2008, a record 49 million Americans, or 16.1% of the total US population lived in a multigenerational household.” A 2011 study by Generations United found that approximately one in

Lori Bitter Publisher of GRAND and owner of The Business of Aging

six Americans resides in a multigenerational household – a 10% jump since the start of the recession. MetLife’s New American Family study reports, “We have seen an increase in multi-generational households, which tends to increase in difficult economic times and fall when the economy improves. The most recent census confirms that in the past 10 years a record number of parents with small children moved into their parents’ homes, creating a three-generation household. What differs from the three-generation households of the past is that in most cases the grandparent is the head of household.”

Continued on next page

grand home

Continued from previous page

Multi-generational housing tends to increase in difficult economic times.

Clearly the recession, which began late in 2007, is a major factor in families housing together. Young adults who struggled to launch their careers during this period returned or stayed in the family home in record numbers. People are also marrying later than in previous decades and may choose to remain in their family homes longer. The wave of Hispanic and Asian immigration that began years ago is another contributing factor. Culturally these populations are more likely to choose a multi-generational living situation than their American-born counterparts. African-American families are 10% more likely to be in a multi-generational household. Fast forward to 2016. The trend toward housing together continues to rise – not out of necessity as much as choice. Many families who were driven to live together in the recession have stayed 10 GRAND


together. They cite the financial benefits for each generation 5 as one reason, but caregiving for elders and being present for young children are equally important. It has created a need for homeowners to think creatively about their houses, originally designed for families of four. All across America new ways to live together are emerging. The simplest, for households with the land and financial resources, is remodeling a bonus room or a garage, or creating an addition. Many newer homes are built with an upstairs and downstairs master suite, so elders can have space on the main floor of the home. Many families report that a result of this trend is that siblings are sharing rooms again – and it’s a positive thing! The last issue of GRAND explored the trend of tiny homes. Placed on the property of the existing home, a tiny home provides privacy with access to the family. Tiny homes on trailers often fall into the RV category and avoid some of the issues associated with multi-gen expansion.

Copyright © 2012 Lennar Corporation. All rig

Companies that build “accessory dwellings” have sprung up across the country. Often referred to as “granny flats” or “granny Copyright © 2012 Lennar Corporation. All rights reserved. garages” or casitas, these are more permanent dwellings that usually include a living space, bedroom, and bath, and often a kitchenette with no stove, depending on zoning restrictions. Both tiny homes and accessory dwellings meet the needs of young adults and grandparents and are considered investments in the main property. Several national homebuilders have created plans for multi-generational families. The largest is Lennar, Builder magazine’s #1 ranked homebuilder in the nation, who has built over 3000 NextGen homes in planned communities. Continued on next page

rivate Bedroom grand home

Continued from previous page multiple generations of people living on top of each other. Relationships are better. Grandparents are helping kids with homework.” That is really the goal. Research continues to support the benefits of multiple generations interacting daily. A study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, offers scientific evidence for the contribution of grandparents in children’s lives. The study looked at data from more than 400 families with fifth-grade children to determine if the involvement of grandparents has any effect, positive or negative, on a child’s development and behavior. They found a correlation between the involvement of grandparents and the development of “kind, helpful and/or empathetic behavior toward others.” In other words, grandparents helped shape children into nicer people!

Jeff Roos, Regional Vice President of Lennar, calls the creation of the NextGen concept a happy accident. He was visiting with an architect in Phoenix when he saw a unique design for a home within a home. It was 2011, in the midst of the foreclosure boom. Lennar was looking for an idea that would differentiate the builder. Lennar did extensive research on the older consumer and the potential for multi-generational living. NextGen was born.

Somehow, we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, a knowledge of the past, and a sense of the future.

These facts emerged from the study: • The encouragement of grandparents has a powerful, positive effect on a child’s self-esteem. • Interaction with a caring adult outside of the immediate family system helps a child build social skills. • Children who are close to their grandparents are less likely “The NextGen suite features a private entrance, master suite, to experience depression. • Children view their grandparents as mentors and teachers. eat-in kitchenette, laundry and living room. Many have their • Children at the adolescent phase of life believe grandparown patio for cooking out and their own garages,” says Roos. ents are more understanding than their parents. “It’s rewarding. These homes change the dynamic of fami• Children see their grandparents as an important source of lies. We have had homeowners in tears as they tell us they no advice and support. longer have to drive to provide care for their parents, or have

Grandparents helped shape children into nicer people!



Source: NewAvenue

• Children say that grandparents matter outside of their relationship with their parents as important people in their lives. This study supports purposeful multi-generational living, as opposed to financially-driven reasons. The benefits are clear for grandparents as well, as a Harvard study connected happiness in old age to relationships with young people. Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead, observed “Somehow, we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, a knowledge of the past, and a sense of the future. Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do - with no relatives, no support; we’ve put it [nuclear families] in an impossible situation.” Regardless of the reasons to build a nest together, it is clear that the benefits outweigh the negatives for most families and this trend is not likely to go away.

A special section for new and expecting grandparents

Movin’ and Groovin’


New year with attitude! BY CHERYL HARBOUR


hether you’re at the very start of your GRANDbaby’s life or approaching that one-year milestone, you can make some New Year’s resolutions for how to be the best possible influence – and have the most fun. Just like adults, babies benefit from exercise, music, and a positive attitude (especially yours).



he more scientists study and understand brain development, the more they see the roots for abilities, habits, and attitudes in an infant’s daily experience. In talking, reading, and singing to babies, adults help stimulate neural connections that support brain development. Physical activity is vital too. Experts recommend babies spend significant time OUT of strollers, car seats, infant seats, and playpens. You may remember from raising your own children – physical activity can improve a baby’s mood and her nap quality. Early exercise and movement also help develop connections between the brain and muscles, making physical activity easier as the child grows. That can safeguard against obesity. So, if you’re a healthy and energetic grandparent, include some exercise in your time with your GRANDbaby. The Society of Health and Physical Educators has developed guidelines for infants and toddlers as part of a program they’ve named “Active Start.” Read more about their guidelines.

Here are a few easy ways to interact physically: Passive limb exercises

1 Before your GRANDbaby has control of his own muscles,

you can do gentle exercises on a quilt on the floor. Gently stretch arms out to the side, over the head, and across the chest. Do a slow “bicycle” movement with your GRANDbaby’s legs. how-to-exercise-with-a-newborn2.htm

Who doesn’t love Tummy Time?

2 Since babies sleep on their backs, they need to spend

some waking time on their tummies to develop strong head,

neck, and shoulder muscles. Tummy time’s a first step toward crawling and other motor skills. Babies should always be supervised because they may not yet be able to lift their heads when they’re face down and as they age they start moving and can get places you might not want them to go. As your GRANDbaby gets older, you can encourage reaching, stretching, and crawling by placing colorful toys where he or she can see them and move toward them. This video gives very specific instructions and extra hints for making tummy time effective and fun. During the toddler years, it’s important to keep exercise going in age-appropriate ways. For example, bouncing and chasing balls can be important in the development of hand-eye coordination.


Make beautiful music together

JulieAnne Searles grew up in a family that played musical instruments and loved to sing and dance. So, as the mother of a young child, she wanted to find ways to continue that kind of engagement with music. By that time, she was a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who believed strongly in the benefits that come from babies and children bonding with the adults in their lives through music. She envisioned a class that nurtured the joy and connection she 13 GRAND


JulieAnne Searles, creator of Moo Moo Musica knew could be found in music, so 15 years ago she created, “Moo Moo Musica.” Now in multiple locations in the LA area, her music classes for children ages 0 to 5 abound with rhythm, sounds, melodies, costumes, toys, children, mommies, daddies, nannies, and grands. JulieAnne’s approach to music for infants is based on the knowledge that even in the womb, babies recognize sounds and melodies. They recognize sounds they heard often before they were born, Mommy’s and Daddy’s voices, the dog barking, and the doorbell ringing. They are born predisposed to the language spoken by their parents. Once babies are out in the world, words and melodies they hear repeatedly are essentially “laying the tracks” and forming neural networks. Songs help develop speech and can even create the foundation for learning other languages so “Moo Moo Musica” incorporates a diversity of languages. What inspired JulieAnne to explore multiple languages through music and movement was the idea of creating direct, somatic experiences that break down the barriers of the “other,” the unknown.

JulieAnne’s Favorite Fives Five great music choices

Moo Moo Musica’s (of course) “Jilly Jambo”

Putamayo – children’s world music compilation CDs – including World Lullabies and Soothing Songs

5 reasons to take a music class with your grandchild 1. Experiencing the joy of music!!! 2. Bonding through moving and dancing together. 3. Helping your grandchild develop a better brain. 4. Meeting others in your community who share your interests. 5. Facilitating your grandchild’s socialization.

5 ways to rock out with your GRANDbaby Laurie Berkner

Ralph’s World - Happy Lemons 14 GRAND


Hap Palmer

1. SING…in the car, in the bathtub, at mealtime, while walking, holding, or rocking them. They don’t care if you can’t carry a tune! 2. Strike up the kitchen band. Pull out those pots, pans, containers, and wooden spoons and create a drum circle! 3. Use a sock as a hand puppet and make up a funny song or story with different voices. 4. Find board books with lyrics like Five Little Monkeys; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; I’m a Little Teapot, etc. and sing while you read. 5. Turn on some salsa, hip hop, or classical music and dance!

This is your brain while dancing


our GRANDbaby is not the only one learning all the time. Scientists are exploring “Neuroplasticity,” also called neurogenesis and brain plasticity. We now know the brain has the ability to continuously form new connections between brain cells. This contradicts the “old wisdom” that the connections in our brains become fixed as we get older and then, if we live long enough, we actually “lose” brain cells.



The key to avoiding a decrease in mental capacity is to keep challenging our brains with novel and even difficult challenges. Several interesting studies give us clues on how to do that. A study of taxi drivers, who travel new routes all the time, compared with bus drivers, who travel the same routes repeatedly, showed a larger hippocampus in taxi drivers. The hippocampus is the part of the brain involved in forming and accessing complex memories, including the spatial memories used to navigate around town. Since you probably don’t want a second career as a taxi driver, here’s another path to brain health. Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City did a 21-year study of people 75 years and older. They wanted to determine if recreational activities influenced mental acuity. They studied mental challenges: crossword puzzles, playing cards, playing musical instruments, reading books, and writing for pleasure. They also studied physical activities: golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking, and doing housework. Then they investigated which activities appeared to offer protections against dementia. Surprisingly, activities such as golf and swimming didn’t make a difference. Reading reduced dementia risk by 35%, doing crossword puzzles at least 4 days a week, 47%. The number one activity? Dancing frequently reduced dementia by 76%! Evidently dancing exercises the brain of both partners. The leader has to make rapid decisions while the follower has to interpret them without missing a beat. So, find a partner – even if it’s your GRANDbaby – and dance, dance, dance.


Wonder Granny

Sometimes my grandson seems to stop what he’s doing and stare into space. Is that normal – and what is he thinking? A. Babies love eye contact and staring at things intently, but they also have a normal need to release from that intense connection. It might happen when your GRANDbaby is overstimulated or tired. Experts advise you give him a moment and then move on to something else. It could also be that your GRANDbaby really is looking at something – a ceiling fan, a light, or something across the room. In the first months of life, babies are also developing their focus and their understanding of things near and far. You may hear that “staring into space” could be a sign of autism, but that’s usually a matter of degree. If a baby never makes eye contact, parents should talk to their pediatrician. There is also something called “absence seizures” – defined as short periods of unresponsiveness -- but these are very rare in infants. Again, if something concerns you, tell the parents who can talk to their pediatrician. Are you wondering about something related to your new GRANDbaby or GRANDbaby-to-be? Ask us…Send email to:

Cheryl Harbour is the special editor of the “My GRANDbaby” section and author of Good to Be Grand: Making the Most of your Grandchild’s First Year, a combination of up-todate information and grandparently inspiration.

“I want my grandchildren to be readers.”

Lori Bitter, Publisher, GRAND


y grandsons are busy little boys, but we want them to love reading. Henry is two and Babybug is just perfect - he loves the illustrations and the cuddling that comes with reading together! Gabriel, our Kindergartener, is learning to sight read and loves science, so CLICK is the perfect magazine for him. He’s so proud when reads to me, and he loves knowing how things work. They still love playing games and learning on their screens, but they are so excited when they get their own mail! I love that Cricket has magazines that can grow with them as they grow and their interests change. It’s a small investment that will reap huge rewards!

The most awarded children’s magazines to fit each stage and interest of your granchild’s life. Give the gift of a lifetime – the love of reading. Click on any of the magazines above to see what Cricket has to offer.

Do you want to be an AWESOME Grandparent? Then read this book…and you’ll be on your way! Hello, I’m Cheryl Harbour, when I was about to become a grandmother, I was looking for information and inspiration! I searched for a book that would tell me what’s still true about childcare and child development. A book that would teach me about new techniques, new equipment, and new parenting philosophies. A book that would help navigate changing family dynamics and prepare me for this important new phase. I couldn’t find that book anywhere. So, I wrote Good to Be Grand.

Yes, I want to be an awesome grandparent!

Cheryl Harbour is a journalist, corporate communications specialist, and editor of GRAND Magazine’s My GRANDbaby section.

When you start to read this book, be prepared to smile, learn, think, reflect, reminisce, and chuckle...all the way to the end. Armed with current knowledge on baby care and child development, you will be ready to enjoy and enrich your family life in the role of a grandparent. — Lois Kercher, PhD, R.N. former President of National Association of Nurse Executives

Becoming a grandparent is full of blessings as well as often unexpected challenges. In this engaging book, Cheryl Harbour shows us that grandparenting isn’t just a simple reboot of the parenting role, but will require learning new skills, both communicative and practical, as well as rediscovering forgotten joys. — Michael O.L. Seabaugh, Ph.D, Psychologist, Writer

cover story

Ordinary people living extraordinary lives

Click here to listen to the full interview



lesser woman would have thrown in the towel after two broken engagements. As it turns out, her stormy courtship with Earvin “Magic” Johnson was a prelude for the very public life they have lead since his announcement, two months after their wedding, that he is HIV positive. Cookie Johnson is a woman of substance who’s finally telling her story of their 14-year courtship and more than 25 years of marriage in her new book, Believing in Magic. “The team was in Denver and I was getting ready to watch the game with another wife, and the phone rang. The team was already on the court doing shoot around and Earvin was on the phone . . . I was thinking, ‘what is going on’?” says Cookie as she talks about learning of her husband’s HIV status. “He told me was coming home and we needed to talk about something important . . . we’d only been married a couple of months, and we’d had so many breakups, so my first thought was that he’d decided he couldn’t be married.” It turns out that a routine insurance test for the team revealed that Earvin had tested positive for the HIV virus, the virus that causes AIDS. This early detection likely saved both of them.

A routine insurance test for the team revealed that Earvin had tested positive for the HIV virus.



Continued on next page

cover story Continued from previous page “Earvin told me he’d had a test done and it was positive for HIV. My first thought was, ‘am I in a dream?’ My world crashed to the ground. In 1991 those words were a death sentence! Then he said, ‘The doctors want you to be tested,’ and I felt like I’d been hit with a hammer. I immediately thought about my baby – I was newly pregnant. And at that time it took two weeks for the results to come back.” This would be an exclamation point on a roller coaster relationship that began at Michigan State University. Cookie was a fashion merchandising major and Earvin, who had been recruited by major basketball programs, was a communications major with dreams of a broadcast career. He had earned the nickname “Magic” in high school after leading his team to a state championship. Cookie writes an honest and detailed account of the fourteen years that preceded their marriage, which included two broken engagements and multiple break-ups. Their strong Midwestern work ethic, values, and faith in God formed powerful bonds between them. Theirs is the story of two ordinary people who have lived extraordinary lives.

‘I have to save as many lives as possible,’ Earvin said. I knew then this was God’s purpose for him.

was worried. People thought you could catch it. Would we be turned away from restaurants; would our kids have playmates?” “In the end, Earvin said, ‘I have to save as many lives as possible,’” she continued. I knew then this was God’s purpose for him. He became the face of the disease. Our faith is a thread in our lives. Earvin is a positive person. This faith gave me the strength to get off of my knees and move forward.” Together they’ve built a strong family that includes Andre (Earvin’s son from a relationship during one of their break-ups); Earvin III (known as EJ); and Elisa (who was adopted). But like most families, it wasn’t always easy. “It’s tough to raise kids in Hollywood. We didn’t go out and do flashy things. They had as normal a life as possible with a small group of close friends, Cookie recollects. “It really takes a village. We kept family close. We’re from Michigan so the kids spent two weeks in the summer with our family there. We wanted them to experience a normal way of life. And when Earvin and I had to travel, we had family stay with the kids. We kept them grounded and close to us. We wanted to instill good morals and values, and raise them in church.”

After the last four-year break-up, it took four years to recreate a friendship between the two, before they dated seriously again. Cookie believes this strong friendship got them through the darkest time of their lives together. “When Earvin told me about the HIV test, he said ‘I understand if you want to leave me.’ I knew I had two choices. I could leave and let him die or I could stay and help him live. We decided to educate ourselves. We met Elizabeth Glaser who was doing work for Pediatric AIDS. She gave us great encouragement and urged us to tell the world,” recalls Cookie. “I have to say I didn’t want him to make the announcement at first. At that time HIV was a “gay disease” and I



Continued on next page

cover story Continued from previous page “Of course, they grow up and go out into the world, and that’s a different story! Now they want all of the glitz and glamour,” she laughed. Cookie speaks poignantly about their openness with Elisa about her adoption, stressing that they worked with a therapist to share the right type of information for the age of their daughter. It started at around age four when friends were having babies and she was curious about her time in mommy’s tummy. “We told her we got to choose her from all of the little babies out there, and that she was beautiful and special,” says Cookie. “At age eight or nine she wanted to know who she looked like and it kind of broke my heart. She was very curious. When she was 13 I gave her a photo of her birth parents and that was pretty traumatic. The reality hit her that she came from someone else. There were lots of tears.” Much more high profile was EJ’s coming out publicly as gay. This was certainly harder as the son of a macho, elite athlete. Cookie also shares this story recounting that Earvin’s initial reaction was tough, but with time and thought, he came around. “Looking back, there were things EJ did as a child that may have been signs. He liked to dress up in girl clothes and didn’t grow out of it. He hid it because I was telling him he needed to stop,” she says. “Then he became a teenager and I noticed him checking out boys instead of girls and it dawned on me; it was time to have a talk.” “I confronted him and asked if he was gay. He said ‘Yes, Mom, I think I am.’ I told him to be who you are and we’ll talk to Daddy. That was hard for EJ. Earvin was truly worried the world wouldn’t accept him and be friendly.”

We need to get rid of the stigma of coming out. We shouldn’t put kids in a box.

“We need to get rid of the stigma of coming out. We shouldn’t put kids in a box. We hope our journey can help to do that. You just have to nurture your kids and help them be good, secure, confident people. That shouldn’t be any different because they are gay. It’s not a choice; they are born that way.” Ironically, it has been 25 years since Earvin “Magic” Johnson revealed his 20 GRAND


Magic, Cookie, Elisa and EJ

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cover story

Continued from previous page

it. She has grave concerns about the fashion business, especially offshoring and child labor. For now, she is content to be “Momager” for EJ and Elisa who are both pursuing careers in fashion and entertainment, with a strong desire to protect them from the issues that come with this line of work. Right now, the Johnsons are happy being grandparents to

Right now, the Johnsons are happy being grandparents to Gigi, who just turned eight, and Avery, who is five.

” Cookie and Magic with family

HIV status to the world and became the face of the disease, and today his son, whom Cookie was pregnant with at the time, is out as a gay man. The foundation the couple has founded, The Magic Johnson Foundation, has AIDS education at its core. When the foundation began, the stigma of HIV/AIDS was high. It supported early detection, responsible behavior, and education to stop the spread of the disease. Johnson has been an example of how early detection and medication can lead to a long, healthy life. “The problem now is that people aren’t alarmed anymore,” says Cookie. “Young people are being reckless and the virus is still killing people.” The Foundation added an education component that began with 21 GRAND


the historically Black colleges to provide funds for students to attend college. They have put 120 students through college, where they follow them for all four years, providing mentoring and job search support. They have also created community empowerment centers in urban communities to provide computers and resources to younger children to do homework and have a safe place to learn, and to position them for college. The centers are so popular that older, retired citizens are also accessing the resources. Cookie used her fashion degree to launch CJ by Cookie Johnson, a premium denim line, in 2009. She recently shut that business down and is thinking about how she might revamp

granddaughter, Gigi, who just turned eight, and Avery, their fiveyear-old grandson. “When you’re a grandparent and still work, it’s tough,” she says. “We go to soccer and all their school events because they’re close to us. And we take a Spring Break trip with them and their parents. We were really excited to be grandparents – the house had gotten quiet!” Cookie, who is called “Nonnie” by her grandchildren, is embracing her role and loves the added dimension grandparenting brings to their lives. “Watching these little people discover the world is wonderful. There is so much innocence in the world again. As grandparents, we get to enjoy the best parts of that!”

Lori Bitter serves as publisher of GRAND and author of The Grandparent Economy. Lori’s consulting company, The Business of Aging provides strategic consulting, research and product development for companies seeking to engage with mature consumers. She makes her home with husband, Dwain, in beautiful Napa, CA. Her favorite title is “Gigi” for grandsons Gabriel and Henry.

Hello, my name is Buddy!

I am writing this book to help you understand what a big, beautiful, and kind world you and I live in. This book is about my travels in this exciting world. I visited seven continents and several countries by boat, truck, train, and plane. And this was before being adopted by my loving new family in North Carolina. Sometimes we worry about all the things we see on television. Our parents remind us that bad things can happen to us and we may become fearful. While it’s very true that it’s important to be careful while out in the world, when we open our eyes to all of God’s creations, we see many wonderful and amazing things. Come along with me and learn about the world!

Click here and the author will send you a personalized autographed copy of this award-winning book!



Looking for a unique way to interest your young grandkids in travel, world geography, being kind to each other? Give them “They Call Me Buddy – The World Traveler.” This award-winning, beautifully illustrated book follows Buddy, an Australian Silky Terrier. In each adventure, he is befriended by kind strangers from other countries. The story teaches children about the world with cool maps, cultural pictures with facts about each country. It also teaches about being kind to each other.

health gift guide

Cool gifts for health-conscious grands I BY DEBBY CARROLL

t’s a common refrain, “I never know what to buy Grandpa or Grandma.” But it makes no sense because grandparents are among the easiest people to please. They’re okay if you just give them warm hugs and kisses, but when you give them fun gifts, they’re tickled pink! But if you are still stymied about what to buy we are here to help you. The theme of this issue is health and fitness so we’ve put together a list of things folks will love receiving and you’ll love giving because they are gifts of good health. What could be better than that?

For Zen Practitioners Got a meditation-loving or yoga-practicing grandparent or friend? These items were big hits at our house and provide lots of moments of Zen.

Zafu Yoga Meditation Cushion Organic Buckwheat Fill - 16 COLORS - 10oz. Cotton, Made In USA, by Bean Products Black by Bean Products A good yoga mat makes getting into the poses so much easier. And they say, the more you strike the pose, the better you’ll feel. And if they don’t say that, they should. Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat, Aponi by Manduka 23 GRAND


We love wearing gorgeous yoga leggings! They just make us feel good all over. Namaste! Yoga Reflex Women’s Yoga Pant Active Printed Yoga Legging Hidden Pocket (XS-2XL)

Good Cooking! The hottest thing in hot water these days are noodles made from vegetables. This tool makes it fun and easy to create a pasta alternative everyone will enjoy. WonderVeg Vegetable Spiralizer - Tri Blade Spiral Slicer – Cleaning Brush, Mini Recipe Book and 6 Spare Parts Included - Zucchini Spaghetti Pasta Noodle Maker by WonderVeg

Being able to entertain our grandkids all day and still cook a yummy and healthy meal is absolute heaven. With this slow cooker, good eats are just a few hours away and those hours can surely be spent playing! Tag, you’re it! All-Clad SD710851 Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert and Glass Lid, 4-Quart, Silver by All-Clad

Continued on next page

health gift guide

A great set of pots is a thrill, especially in our house where the last set of pots we got was a wedding present in 1974! This one is affordable and fun to use. T-fal E765SH Ultimate Hard Anodized Scratch Resistant Titanium Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Anti-Warp Base Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA Free Cookware Set, 17-Piece, Gray by T-fal

I have lots of kitchen tools I cannot live without but the one I love the most is my immersion blender. I know it can be used for easy smoothies and blending pretty much anything but its best trick is its ability to make a smooth, creamy and healthy soup out of just a few simple ingredients. KitchenAid KHB2561CU 5-Speed Hand Blender - Contour Silver by KitchenAid

Really great knives are a must in the kitchen but they are expensive. I find I can get away with less expensive knives as long as I have a super sharpener at hand. Chef’s Choice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect Electric Knife Sharpener by EdgeCraft

Exercise Pretty much everyone we know is currently wearing one of these to track activity. Maybe it’s just coincidence but since they’ve been wearing them, they seem much more health conscious and happy. Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large by Fitbit 24 GRAND


A fabulous friend gave us his blender because he had two and I must say this blender changed my life. It makes our daily smoothies from whole vegetables and fruits and they are delicious and healthy. Plus you can make one in minutes with so little prep. Don’t miss the chance to check out this awesome machine. It also blends and cooks soups all in the same jar. Vitamix 1891 Blender, Platinum (Certified Refurbished) by Vitamix

If you know a walker or runner, you need to take a look at this hat and headphones combo. Music is the best exercise companion! Bluetooth Beanie,Qshell Washable Winter Men Women Hat Running Cap with Bluetooth Stereo Headphones Mic Hands Free…

Miscellaneous How about giving the gift of perfect warming and cooling? This thermostat will program itself in about a week. It will remember the exact temperatures you love and will even lower itself when it knows you’re not home. What more could you ask? It’s also very cool looking on the wall. I know I shouldn’t care, but I kind of like that! Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa

food for fitness

Vegan? Not just for kids anymore! A BY PATTI BREITMAN

ctive, inquisitive, open-minded adults of every age are turning to veganism with enthusiasm and great results. As grandparents, our wisdom and compassion are very much needed in our troubled world. We take a stand for kindness by choosing a vegan lifestyle. At a time of life when so many people feel their influence is diminished, veganism makes us powerful in new ways. It opens us to new ideas, recipes, and people, and helps to heal our planet and ourselves in empowering and life affirming ways.

What is veganism? In 1944 Dorothy Morgan and Donald Watson coined the term vegan (pronounced VEEgan). Watson wrote: Veganism is a philosophy and way of life which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.

Three Good Reasons To Go Vegan

1. It is better for our planet. Species extinction from overfishing, climate change from the methane from cows, and pollution of water and air, depletion of fresh water in aquifers, destruction of rain forests, and disruption of maritime ecosystems are all slowed when we choose our food from the plant kingdom. 2. It is better for our health. Vegans are less likely to be obese and have a lower rate of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Plant foods are rich in fiber

and phytochemicals, both of which are protective and neither of which are present in animal based foods. 3. It is better for billions of animals. Every vegetarian saves 30 land animals, 225 fish and 151 shellfish every year. We love our dogs and cats, but we ignore the plight of ten billion land animals and countless sea animals, each an individual, each wanting to live.

Three Easy Ways to Move Toward Vegan:

1. Try to eat one meal a day as a vegan. You may be surprised to learn how many of your favorite foods are vegan already (toast, nut butters, oatmeal, fruit, pasta, marinara sauce, hummus, salads, rice, beans, salsa) and how many more can easily be made vegan. 2. Go vegan one day a week. The Meatless Monday program offers recipes and support to a growing number of towns, schools and, organizations. 3. Eat vegan at home. You can find just about any recipe with a search on “vegan ___” when you fill in the blank with whatever recipe you like: lasagna, chili, split pea soup, casserole, mac and cheese, etc. Here’s to success on the road to veganism!

Patti Breitman is the co-author with Carol J. Adams and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, of Never Too Late to Go Vegan, the Over-50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving on A Plant Based Diet.



extraordinary grands

Grit and ingenuity live in small town America BY RICHARD J. ANTHONY, SR. On the Trans America Bike Trail for 45 days, he was Mike. On the campus of Utah State University, where he is executive director of the Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship, he is Michael Glauser, PhD, whose “Living the Dream” odyssey was launched June 2, 2014, on the beach of the Pacific Ocean in Florence, Oregon, and finished July 25, 2014 at the Atlantic Ocean in historic Yorktown, Virginia.

At finish line Virginia Beach, Shawn , Jay, Mary & Mike


on’t tell Mike Glauser that America’s big cities have the franchise on innovation and entrepreneurship. Or that creating a new software gizmo is the only pathway to entrepreneurial success. Mike knows better because he has seen American ingenuity personal and up close, in towns that seldom, if ever, make the national news. His vantage point: the ergonomically-designed seat of his bicycle.



Peddling more than 4000 miles, Mike, 63, and a few of his fellow cycling enthusiasts spent 246 hours on their bike seats, visiting more than 100 cities, interviewing hundreds of small-town entrepreneurs. “Ordinary people, doing extraordinary things in communities they love to create businesses that enable them to take care of their families,” Mike recalls, summing up his book, “Main Street Entrepreneur.” It’s Mike’s third book on entrepreneurship joining “Glorious Accidents,” and “The Business of Heart.”

Mike Glauser at the end of a long ride Among the entrepreneurs Mike interviewed were: Nicole DeBoom, founder of Skirt Sports in Boulder, Colorado; Jason Kintzler, founder of Pitchengine in Lander, Wyoming; Vicki Stobble, co-founder of Kitchen Corner and Main Street Companies in Newton, Kansas; Hank Viccellio, founder of Viccellio Goldsmith in Yorktown, Virginia, and newlyweds Bette and Stan Cole, both in their 80s, who operate the Hoover Roundup Motel in Walden, Colorado. Continued on next page

extraordinary grands

Continued from previous page GRAND caught up with Mike in his office at Utah State: GRAND: Were you surprised to find so many startup businesses in the towns along the Trans America route? MIKE: Not at all. I knew they were out there because I’ve been interviewing entrepreneurs since 1994. However, the trip gave me a more macro perspective and a renewed appreciation for the ingenuity and resilience of people who create their own opportunities by identifying a need and meeting it with the same indomitable spirit as the most savvy Silicon Valley entrepreneur. I’m more convinced than ever that just about anybody can build a successful business by following the nine key strategies described in the book.

Mike interviewing Marshall Miller GRAND: You write about a diverse group of entrepreneurs in a variety of businesses. Were there certain characteristics that transcended their differences? MIKE: Yes. Most of them had developed multiple sources of revenue, in some cases five or six related businesses, each producing income. Most had no clear exit strategy, because these

‘Don’t ask, ‘How do I find a job?’ Ask, ‘How do I create my own job?’



Click here to listen to the full interview

Nicole DeBoom, founder of Skirt Sports in Boulder, Colorado entrepreneurs are using their business success to give back to their communities. Local hospitals, libraries, schools, ball fields, churches and shelters are all beneficiaries of these thriving enterprises. GRAND: I understand you have a film in the works on the future of work, a fascinating topic, especially for Millennials and Gen Z. Are you, as the father of five and grandfather to 2 youngsters, concerned about the loss of jobs many experts are predicting or about the prospect of your grandchildren having to compete against robots for work?

9 Key Strategies for Business Success • Start with a Clear Purpose • Build on What You know • Launch Opportunities, Not Ideas • Develop Your Supporting Cast • Maximize All Available Resources

• Work with Zealous Tenacity • Build a Community of Raving Fans • Pivot to Multiple Revenue Streams • Serve Your Broader Community

MIKE: I want my children and grandchildren to embrace change and see it as an opportunity to prepare for by developing an attitude of continuous learning. Learning isn’t confined to a classroom. The skills needed for the workforce of the future are collaborative problem solving, the ability to rapidly process information for relevance and innovation to create greater value. All the soft skills that can be acquired by living a purposeful life in which artificial intelligence, automation, and mind-machine interfaces are tools used to operate in virtual worlds. Worlds quite different from the predictable, linear, procedural world in which my generation grew up. I think it’s exciting and I hope they will thrive in it. GRAND: How would you summarize “Main Street Entrepreneurs?” MIKE: Don’t ask, ‘How do I find a job?’ Ask, ‘How do I create my own job?’

Richard J. Anthony, Sr. is an entrepreneur, angel investor, consultant, author and teacher. He can be found at or

MY GRANDPA IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL. When grandparents and grandchildren get together magical moments happen. So enjoy the family adventure of a lifetime in the grandest of style.

ŠDisney WDWGRO-16-52118



In loving memory of Sharon Smith-Gey July 20, 1947 – November 4, 2016 John 14:2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you.


t would have been difficult to find a room big enough to honor the spirit of one whose life, whose heart, whose vision for the world and her love ones was so expansive that it could hardly be contained in a traditional room or setting. So an existing space, not contained by walls was re-purposed to include all of you, her beloved family and friends, her beloved horses and land could all be together in one place. Some would have said impossible. But not those who most deeply bear the imprint of a woman they knew as mother, grandmother, wife, and friend. The artist paints with materials at hand to create something new where there was nothing. Sharon’s art poured forth from her heart and her head. As one whose creativity knew no boundaries, it seems Sharon knew a secret known only to the artist. That is, the artist doesn’t necessarily create something brand new from nothing, but possesses the ability to take existing elements seemingly disconnected, and slam them together in such a way that something new and wonderful emerges – with unimagined colors, textures, and elements that heretofore had remained hidden. With vision and skill, mixed with an enormous capacity to love, Sharon built dwellings, expanded dwellings, and re-purposed dwellings where there was room for everyone around the table. And if the table was too small, you just added on to the table. Sharon Smith Gey was born in Xenia, Ohio on July 20th, 1947. She was the daughter of Sydney & Maxine Smith. At the age of 2, the family moved to Florida. Her good, compassionate and loving strength was born in this family, which included her brother, Wayne and sister Corky (Corliss). 29 GRAND


The expansive skies of Florida, its colors, proximity to water, and even its ruggedness provided a suitable backdrop on which to create her life. Sharon’s childhood was rich with stories that time does not permit. Suffice to say, she was Daddy’s girl, and was fiercely proud that her father was elected mayor of Deland. Water was indeed a theme in Sharon’s teenage years: the family business, the Flamingo Brands Water company was the first bottled water company in Florida. Growing up, she held jobs as a lifeguard, she taught swimming lessons, she worked as a server at the Bernard Surf restaurant, and indeed for a time was the girl who rode a water skiing elephant in a sky show. Because she had difficultly holding her breath underwater, she adapted a strategy of holding her nose by rolling her top lip up to plug her nose. While functional, it was

From the youngest age, a determined Sharon worked hard. In her inspiring professional life Sharon was acknowledged and highly respected as a natural leader.

apparently not deemed attractive by some, so she got fired. You will not hear about many setbacks in Sharon’s life, and I expect this wasn’t really a setback so much as it was the world learning to reckon with her. Sharon’s career eventually led her to work with the Boeing Aerospace Center – on a business trip to Seattle, she experienced Jungle Jim’s restaurant and brought the concept home to Merritt Island, opening in 1986 and expanding over the next decade to include 5 locations. Clients, employees, and entrepreneurs were drawn to her. In a male-dominated field, Sharon’s success with Jungle Jim’s and other ventures was centered around taking really good care of her employees - recognizing that building trusting and caring relationships was always the right thing to do. Professionally, and personally, she had a way of making people feel better about themselves. She saw their potential and fanned the spark, making them better than they thought they could be. I think this is known as building capacity. People craved her advice. Her family shares that in recent days, they have received many messages with the same theme.

Continue Reading

grand living

Learning to live an AWEsome life BY DR. BOB WRIGHT


hen was the last time you felt true “awe”—that sense of wonder, that feeling of discovery, a sense of excitement and amazement touching your very soul? As a grandparent, you probably think of awe as something you see reflected in your grandchildren. We’ve all seen our grandkids express awe. Whether they’re learning something new, getting excited, or engaged in an activity—kids are often in a state of awe and exploration. Rediscovering our own sense of awe may sound childlike, but in truth, there’s nothing childish about it. Not only does it feel, well, awesome, to be in this transcendent state, but research shows awe can boost your immune system and contribute to better health.

Awe brings us to a calm and focused state of mind, lowering stress levels, easing impatience, and increasing overall satisfaction and happiness in life. So we can all benefit from regaining our sense of wonder and our ability to revel in the moment. As we get older, many of us feel as though everything is “old hat.” Things become mundane, routine, and business-as-usual. We lose our spark and our zest. We may even find ourselves asking that old question, “Is this all there is?” As soon as we lose touch with our sense of awe, we start to decline, and age. We’ve all heard the expression “you’re only as old as you feel”—and it’s true! The way to keep feeling young is to keep growing, reaching and exploring life. So much of living a GRAND life is continuing to work toward things we want and finding new ways to spark our creativity, connections with nature, and interactions with the world around us. It’s about being fully engaged and fully present. Keeping ourselves psychologically fit means not living through our children and grandchildren, but being inspired by them to seek and discover our own sense of wonder and joy—even when the grandkids aren’t present.

Yearning and Growing

The first step to rediscovering your own sense of awe is to take a lesson from the grandkids: be spontaneous, even when it looks silly. Do this and you’re on your way to discovering what it is your heart truly yearns for. Yearning is different than simply wanting or desiring something. You may want a vacation or you may wish your spouse would pick up their jacket rather than tossing it on the chair when they come in the house. These wants stem from something deeper, 30 GRAND


though—an underlying hunger and longing. At our core being, we yearn for certain universal things: to belong, to connect with others, to be seen, to discover, to experience, and to love and be loved. These drivers that propel us toward living the life we really want were often conditioned out of us as we “grew up.” Learn to reconnect with these essential elements of who you are at your deepest level and you’ll be amazed at how they drive you toward new ways of experiencing the world. These yearnings keep us vital and moving forward regardless of our age and health limitations. Our grandchildren are often better at yearning, in some ways. Children’s needs, while just as strong, are often clear. They want their needs met and they’re less afraid to let it be known. As adults, we learn to push some of that aside and tamp it down, both out of fear and because, let’s face it, sometimes yearning is hard. It requires us to drill down and really ask ourselves what’s at our core. Continued on next page

grand living If you’re having a hard time separating a want from a yearning, try applying the “so that” test. For example: “I want more time with my grandkids, so that…we can have fun together.” “More time with the grandkids” is a want. Keep applying the “so that” until you can’t anymore. Like so: “I want more time with my grandkids so that we can have fun together.” “I want to have fun together so that we can build memories and connect with each other.” “I want to build memories and connect with my grandkids so that I feel valued and full of life.” “I want to feel valued and full of life … I yearn to feel valued and full of life.” We don’t have to, nor should we, wait until we are with our grandkids to feel valued and full of life. It’s up to us to live vibrant, valuable lives–all the time. Aliveness is available every moment wherever we are, if only we have the courage to yearn and engage.

That means being willing to act your yearnings in the moment, to be spontaneous, and risk looking silly. Haven’t we earned the right at this age? It’s easier to stay where we are in life and to tread water, but in truth, just because we aren’t reaching for and working toward fulfilling our yearnings, doesn’t mean they go away. Our yearnings are very much a part of who we are. Our heart longs for the things that make it sing. When we react to the absence of our yearnings, it can come out as frustration; snapping at our partner, our adult children, or our friends; feeling sad; or distancing ourselves from new experiences and discoveries. Many of these surface reactions result because we’re avoiding or ignoring our deep-down yearnings. For example, we all know someone who drones on forever, who’s constantly soaking up attention but never satisfied. This indicates a yearning to be seen, heard, and affirmed by someone who has given up.

Awaken Your Awe

Our brains are amazingly adaptable and growth-oriented. Deep within our neural circuitry, we humans have neuroplasticity—the ability to build new circuits and form new neural pathways, allowing us to learn, engage, and grow. So we’re not simply animals driven by biological imperatives and instinct; we are all adapting, evolving and ever-changing—and our brains love it!

To feel a sense of awe and wonder, we need to put down the remote, get out from behind the computer, and get back in touch with the world around us.



Our yearnings lead us to experiment, to learn and, if followed, to personal growth. Learning new things and growing, and forming these new neuropathways can happen at any age—not just as children. When we form these pathways, our brains continue to grow. We become sharper, happier, and we feel more alive. We lower our stress levels, and we feel more deeply connected with those around us. To feel a sense of awe and wonder, we need to put down the remote, get out from behind the computer, and get back in touch with the world around us. We need to learn new things, connect with nature, feel joy, and marvel in the beauty of the night sky or the sunrise. It all begins with risking spontaneity. When we look at our grandchildren, we can take a cue from their sense of amazement at the world around them. When was the last time you got on the floor with them and played? Or giggled? Embracing “awe” means getting out the door and stepping into a GRAND life. It means staying social, listening, connecting and trying new experiences. Childhood is a series of new experiences and activities, each more stimulating, exciting and awe-inspiring than the last. As we grow, we have to continue to nurture this sense of awe and wonder. Embrace your “awe” today.

Relationships experts, world-class coaches, and best-selling authors, Dr. Judith and Dr. Bob Wright are co-founders of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential and The Wright Graduate University and authors of The Heart of the Fight

ask dr. gramma karen

The secrets we keep… or don’t

A Must-­‐Read  for   Grandparents



hat should you do when your grandchild asks you about a family secret? Families keep secrets for a variety of reasons: divorce; mental illness; addictions; extra-marital affairs; sexual issues or diseases; adoption; incarceration; job loss; gambling; suicide; abuse and more. Author Julie Tilsner’s article, “Why It’s Okay to Lie to Your Child (Sometimes),” differentiates between white lies or little whites (“No, that’s not chocolate on my breath; you’re smelling raisins. Want one?”), social 32 GRAND


lies (“Just say you like Aunt Carol’s purple hair so you don’t hurt her feelings.”), protective lies (saying “Yes” when a three-year-old child asks if her mother will live forever.). While a lie may be a protective one, family secrets can be a double-edged sword. Good intentions are often the rationale for family secrets, but maintaining those secrets can lead to lies which result in family members feeling powerless, angry, and distrustful, especially younger family members who sense something is being kept from them. Educator and counselor John Bradshaw, developer of the PBS series Family Secrets, believed that while there are dysfunctional family secrets, there are also family secrets that help a family function better. I agree most family secrets can survive the light of day, but in deciding whether to shine that light, a critical factor is discerning who has ultimate responsibility for the secret. A grandparent does not want

to deceive a grandchild, but by the same token, some family secrets are not up to a grandparent to disclose.

Some family secrets are not up to a grandparent to disclose.

So, grandparents can say they don’t have an answer for the grandchild, but they’ll try to get him/ her an answer. Then the grandparents can inform the appropriate parties about the child’s questions, and a response can be formulated taking into account the circumstances, the child’s age and level of maturity, and the short- and long-term implications of what should and should not be shared. There are times when deflection and/or omission may be initially the best course of action in responding to a grandchild’s inquiry about a family secret.

Look Inside “This  book...set  me   straight.  I  wasn’t  sure   where  my  boundaries   were  as  a  grandma...” “Karen  identifies  the   cause  and  effect  of   family  issues  in  plain   and  simple  language.” -­‐  Reviewers

Karen L. Rancourt, Ph.D., writes an advice column for parents and grandparents at and is the author of Ask Dr. Gramma Karen, Volume II: Savvy Advice to Help Soothe Parent-Grandparent Conflicts.

Show me the book!

Invisible grandparents

A spiritual welcome for baby


BY PAT HANSON  We will mind our minds, be careful of what we create, and give you the freedom to grow. We will wage peace, protect the planet, and leave its resources in better shape than we found it.  Welcome to the world. We make a place for you.  We pledge to love, nurture, and protect you.  We will invest in your future, but never at the expense of living today.  We will support your authenticity and model to you how to be in a healthy relationship.  We will encourage you to dream large and to partner with God in the fulfillment of those dreams.  We will listen to you, learn from you, laugh, and play with you.  Our love is unconditional and we will be there for you always.  Thank you for the privilege of growing with you. And there’s more! As all children and teenagers present are invited to join the family on the altar, everyone repeats this chant three times directly to the young ones:

Watch this video to see a baby blessing

Yes you can. I believe in you. I am never, ever, giving up on you. © Reverend Deborah Johnson’s Children’s Blessing (© 2005 - Inner Light, Santa Cruz, California)


he New Year is a perfect time for families to bless their youngest members. Imagine standing on the stage in the sanctuary of your choice; your family holding its newest member, while your community faces you with outstretched arms, repeating in unison:  We, your spiritual community, pledge to create a world that makes it easy for you to be all that you are intended to be.





1st International Conference on Grandparent Alienation FRIDAY, March 3, 2017 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Naples Daily News Bldg. Community Room Main Floor 1100 Immokalee Road Naples, Florida 34110

For information and reservations Dr. Pat Hanson, Ph.D. is a seasoned health educator, public speaker, and workshop facilitator. She is the author of Invisible Grandparenting: Leave A Legacy Of Love Whether You Can Be There or Not. She lectures nationally on Aging Positively and is a columnist for the magazine: Crone: Women Coming of Age. No Admission Fee All Welcome!

This organization has a presence in 50 states and 15 countries. International Headquarters is located in Naples, Florida U.S.A.

GRANDPartner for GRANDParents

Grands and grandkids united in fun BY SUE ELLEN COOPER


hich generation do we grands relate to best, our children or our grandchildren? The answer may be counterintuitive. Although our grandchildren are further separated in age, we may find we have more in common with them than we do with their parents. Comedian Sam Levinson often said that grandparents and grandchildren tended to join forces against what he called “their common enemy” - the parents! You know it’s true. Who backs up the little ones when they want to stay up later? Who says an extra cookie won’t cause irreparable harm? We always take the grandkid’s side! Of course we’re on the parents’ team in serious situations, but we do let love blind us to the requirements of justice sometimes. Just ask my daughter.

Even as an adult, I still enjoy the occasional goofy activity.

We realize life doesn’t need to be taken so seriously all the time. Children recognize the need for silliness and frivolity. Grandparents have – perhaps rather belatedly - begun to rediscover that joy and see it as healthy and acceptable. Their parents’ job is to enforce the rules; they don’t get to have as much fun as we other two generations do. As Red Hat Society founder, I enjoy a special link with thousands of women around the world. When my granddaughters were little, they loved playing dress-up; so they were simpatico with the dressing up they saw me doing with my Red Hatted friends. They loved my purple sequined jackets, bright red feather boas, and glittery “diamond” jewelry, etc. They thought it was really cool that Grandma was still playing.



They get a kick out of this; it keeps us bonded and enhances our enjoyment of each other. The girls appreciate that even as an adult, I still enjoy the occasional goofy activity and am willing to play another round of their favorite game. Women who join the Red Hat Society before turning 50 wear pink hats until they reach “the age” for red ones. As newborns, both of my granddaughters came home from the hospital in pink hats – perhaps prophetically. Links like this have built powerful bonds between them and me, bonds that, I hope, will only grow stronger in the years to come. Sue Ellen Cooper Exalted Queen Mother Red Hat Society

toys n’ tech

Play, learn, breathe!



his month we have technology for all ages. From 3-103, there are cool gadgets for all of us. Jump in!

Is the air in your home really clean?

When we’re stuck in traffic, breathing in exhaust fumes, we think about air pollution. The problem is, air pollution exists in our homes too and it can make us sick. The AirSense by ibaby Labs is the world’s smallest air monitor and ionic purifier. The beautifully-designed gadget constantly monitors the air quality in your home and purifies the air using negative ions. And that’s not all! It also functions as a baby monitor, speaker, and nightlight! AirSense by ibaby Labs | $149 Full review & demo of AirSense

A tablet for the little folks in your life

This drone flies, shoots, and grabs!

It’s 2017 and our expectations for a cool drone have grown. The Parrot Mambo Drone is easy to fly, does flips with the push of a button, and has one click takeoff and landing, but we need more to be impressed. How about a 6-shot cannon so you can do some target practice? More into cargo than cannons? No problem, the Mambo also comes with a remote-controlled grabber attachment. All of this adds up to a really fun play experience for kids and adults. Parrot Mambo Drone | $99 Full review & demo of the Parrot Mambo

Can a 3-year-old learn to program? Here’s a riddle – how do you teach a 3-yearold grandkid who can’t read how to code… without using a screen or keyboard? The answer is Cubetto from Primo Toys. Cubetto is a Montessori-approved wooden robot that kids program with blocks. No screens, no keyboards, just a cute wooden robot who moves on a cloth map. Educational, fun, interactive, and no screen time for the kids. Cubetto Robot from Primo Toys | $245 Full review & demo of the Cubetto Robot

Young grandkids can be incredibly smart when it comes to tablets and electronics, however, those tiny hands still tend to drop things. The nabi SE tablet from Mattel is made for 6-10-yearolds and can easily survive drops and spills. In addition, the tablet comes loaded with tons of educational apps, parental controls, and reporting options so you can make their screen time more safe and educational and still fun. nabi SE By Mattel | $79 Full review & demo of the nabi SE

Dan Nessel is Director of Product Reviews at DadDoes. Join Dad Does for real world, brutally honest product reviews, geared toward parents and grandparents.

grand families

Grandparents to the rescue but now what? BY JAIA LENT


he phone rings at 3:00 a.m. You answer in a daze. It’s a social worker from the Department of Child and Family Services. Your two young grandchildren were found home alone without their parents. You must pick them up or they will be sent to foster care.

2.6 million grandparents have stepped in to care for their grandchildren when the children’s parents cannot.

You’re shocked and frightened and have a million questions, but you answer immediately, “Of course I’ll take them.“ This seemingly unlikely scenario happens to grandparents and other relatives every day. Whether it’s the death of a parent, mental health problems, substance abuse, or even military deployment, 2.6 million grandparents have stepped in to care for their grandchildren when the children’s parents cannot. Many grandparents have little or no warning and no time to plan. For others it happens more gradually. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a major life change. Instead of saving for retirement, you’re 36 GRAND


saving for college. Your fixed income is now stretched to cover the cost of diapers and formula. Instead of going to the movies and dinner with friends, you’re driving the children to swim lessons and shopping for school supplies. You’re grandparents. You know how to provide a loving and safe home for your grandkids, but how will they get their health care? How do you arrange counseling to help them deal with the trauma that brought them to you? Are there funds to help you with your expanded grocery bill, or cover the costs of school fees? Can you enroll the children in the school near your home or find help with transportation to keep them in their school an hour away? How do you begin? Advocates and other caregivers recognizing the challenge of this unexpected role are working to create a network of support services for families like yours.

You know how to provide a loving and safe home, but how will they get health care? How will they get to school? Continued on next page

grand families Here are a few key first steps and resources: Find out if there is a kinship navigator program in your area: Some states and localities have programs called kinship navigators to help connect grandfamilies to services, benefits, and supports in the area. Connect with others in situations similar to yours: There’s no substitute for talking to people who’ve lived through this. Find out if there is a support group in your area or connect with other grandfamilies online. Consider joining 1000 other grandfamilies and advocates attending the 5th National GrandRally in Washington DC on May 10, 2017 to raise awareness with policy makers about the needs of grandfamilies. Learn about benefits and laws in your state or local area: Benefits and laws affecting grandfamilies vary by state. Learn what’s available


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in your state. The Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center offers user-friendly information about state laws. Get educated about your legal options: Learn more about the legal care and custody arrangements that may be available to you as the caregiver or guardian of the child. Find information about legal help. Make self-care a priority: When the emotional, mental, and physical needs of your grandchildren become first priority in your life, it’s easy to stop caring for yourself. But you can only care for the children if you are alive and healthy. Look into ways to find regular respite. Is there a neighbor or family member you trust who can take the kids for a few hours one or two times a week? Learn about whether professional respite care is available nearby. Consider whether a support group or counselor would be helpful to you.

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Helpful Links:

Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center: A database of laws, policy information, stories and resources. In May 2017, this website will include links to newly updated program resources and grandfamilies fact sheets for every state. Generations United- Home to the National Center on Grandfamilies, provides helpful fact sheets and resources covering issues from Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Social Security, to guides for grandparents and other relatives raising children with disabilities. National Kinship Alliance for Children Grandfamilies of America ElderCare Locator: 1-800-677-1116,

Helpful Articles/Books for New Grandfamilies:

The Kinship Parenting Toolbox Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Guide to Getting Started You join families across the nation who are helping children to thrive in grandfamilies. With your love and support, you can look forward to your grandchildren joining the thousands of grand success stories of children in grandfamilies.

Jaia Peterson Lent is Deputy Executive Director of Generations United, a national organization dedicated to improving lives. Home to the National Center on Grandfamilies, Generations United is a leading voice for issues affecting families headed by grandparents or other relatives. 37 GRAND


Real Grands: From A to Z


Everything A Grandparent Can Be.

f you agree that the grandparents in children’s books don’t look like you or your friends, you’ll love this alphabet rhyming book. Share it with your grandkids and show them what “Real Grands” do. We don’t just sit and knit (that’s okay too, though) we rock, we roll, we work hard, we play hard, and we have brilliant lives outside of the house as well as inside. We are aviators and attorneys, artists and athletes, teachers and preachers and we do it all with style and substance. We have changed the image of grandparents forever and we need a book that teaches that to our grandkids. This beautifully illustrated diverse book will delight you and your sweet grands!

Click to buy

Good to Be Grand: Making the Most of Your Grandchild’s First Year

Becoming a grandparent is a major milestone, raising new questions, challenges, and opportunities. Prepare for this transformative stage of life—and make the baby’s first year one of the most meaningful experiences for both of you.

Order or learn more here

grand legacy

Grandparents get schooled BY JERRY WITKOVSKY, MSW


randparents can transform families when they teach their skills, manifest their creativity, and give voice to their passions. That’s why I set up my first Grandparent Connection School Program at Deerfield High School in 2009 and it is still going strong. Over 300 grandparents attended the annual Grandparents Day for seniors on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Grandparents (or other special guests) shadowed their grandchild—attended classes, ate lunch together, and experienced their world. “It’s beyond wonderful,” said one grandmother. This connection at a critical stage of development goes beyond the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Grandchildren are becoming young adults, while grandparents are the manifestation of all the adults who preceded the grandchild. A grandparent brings knowledge, wisdom, and hope to a grandchild.

Grandchildren are becoming young adults, while grandparents are the manifestation of all the adults who preceded the grandchild.



Teenagers bring different knowledge and wisdom, but the hope may be accompanied by anxiety about the future. Amazing things can happen when these two get together and share life experiences. Connecting with school administrators or counselors is a way for grandparents to understand what their grandchild might need at this age intellectually, socially, and emotionally. In fact, at a gathering of grandparents, questions were less about what students were reading in English class and more about the transition to high school and if their freshman grandchild was making friends. “How can we help our grandkids? What are they into these days?” asked one grandparent. The initial response was expected, “Visit the school website.” But another answer was more unexpected: “Hide your prescription medicines and dispose of them if you are no longer taking them.” Why? Because prescription drug abuse by teens is a national epidemic. Grandparents must know what is going on to be able to make a difference in their grandchildren’s lives. Schools benefit from volunteers in many ways including speakers for career days, event and planning committees, tutoring and more. Informed local residents who are invested in the school’s Continued on next page

grand legacy Continued from previous page Last year I created a Grandparent Connection School Kit to share what I have learned from my own experience and to provide a step-by-step guide for grandparents to set up Grandparent Connection programs in their grandchild’s schools. In the coming year, I am embarking on a research and evaluation project to see what works, best practices, and to create a model to expand the program across the country.

What do you think? Are we on to something? Do you have examples of successful school grandparent programs in your community? We’d love to hear from you! Please share–even programs that did not succeed are good to know about, When Grandparents unleash their creativity, skills and passions, they can have a transformative effect on schools and their grandkid’s lives success vote on bond issues or raise funds for school projects. When grandparents connect with religious schools there is an opportunity to engage spiritually and foster conversations at home about religious or cultural issues. It can create a safe space to share personal stories of religious identity, at times when it might have been difficult or even dangerous to practice their faith. Grandparents involved in religious school learning may find an entrée to sharing values such as kindness or generosity, or enjoy passing on family traditions to grandchildren. My theory is grandparent programs in secular and religious schools bring families closer together around shared values; improves mental health for grandparents and grandchildren; provides community support for schools and encourages positive association with aging. 40 GRAND


for informing success for the future.

If you want to know how to get involved, click here or email me at

A long-time social work professional, grandparenting activist, and passionate Grandpa, author Jerry Witkovsky offers fresh approaches to help grandparents enter their grandchild’s world, to leave values, not just valuables, and thereby create a living legacy.

grand style

Burlap sack or bridal gown? BY DEBBY CARROLL


hy are you wearing that burlap sack?” asked my Aunt Essie, none too politely. It was 1974; my wedding day, and nothing about it was what I would have chosen, well, except for the groom and the dress. My parents planned a traditional wedding for us while Ned and I dreamed of anything but. We were hippies and picturing marrying barefoot on a beach somewhere. Instead we were married on a dreary Sunday afternoon in a charmless catering hall in Philadelphia. But the dress was one I found in a shop that sold peasant-style clothing. I loved it; it cost $35. I knew my mother wouldn’t 41 GRAND


approve so I didn’t even invite her along while I shopped. In retrospect, am I sorry I forfeited the one day in your life (if you’re lucky) you get to go all out bride and wear a wedding dress? Not exactly; but I do regret denying my mother, who died three years after my wedding, the day of joy that comes from shopping for a wedding dress with your daughter. I experienced that joy with my first daughter and again this fall with my middle child, Tamra. My girls know how I shop so they were prepared for the way this Mom would hunt for the right dress, at the right price. I did my homework because I’ve heard lots of stories from fellow MoB (mothers of the bride) about

wedding dress shopping trips resulting in drama, tears, and dismay. I know more than one MoB who schlepped to 20+ stores. Exhausting and exasperating! This shopping trip should be fun and fabulous. I strongly suggest beginning the search with a warm heart to heart about expectations. First and foremost, remind your daughter the main focus of the wedding day is the marriage to the right partner, not what you wear. In truth, the gowns, as you can see here, are all pretty awesome and they look similar. It’s best not to make yourself crazy chasing perfection. If she finds one she loves, it’s a smart move not to wonder if there’s a better one out there somewhere. Continued on next page

grand style

5 Tips For Gown Shopping


Bridal salons aren’t the only game in town. Consignment shops often have wedding gowns, as do thrift shops. Hell, anyone can buy retail; it takes talent to find a great dress at an awesome price. We only visited discount stores that sell samples and consigned dresses. We had plenty to choose from. Pictured here are a few of the dresses. (I promised not to reveal the final choice until after her May wedding!) I offered honest opinions as she tried on dresses but was mindful it was her wedding, not mine. Tamra’s opinion was paramount. And, her two sisters were with us. That’s about the maximum number of people who should come. I recommend not taking the entire bridal party. Too many



opinions will muddle the mind. Take photos of each dress as she tries it on. The dresses may all run together in your memory. Photos help. You can take a photo of the price tag too. Have a game plan. We agreed we’d find a dress in one day. We made appointments at three stores and agreed to go to all. At the end of the day she’d choose the dress and we’d return to the appropriate store. Ultimately, she chose a dress in the last store anyway. We did agree, though, that if one dress at any point during the day was outstanding and she was ready to buy it, we’d do so and not look further. Keep the options flexible! Have a budget and make it clear. It’s easy to get swept up in emotion and overspend your budget. Don’t. You and your daughter should agree in advance how much you’ll spend. Tell the salesperson your maximum budget and instruct her not to show you any dresses beyond that price. It’s okay to give a range, “I’d like to spend about $300 but definitely no more than $800,” if that makes you more comfortable. There are gorgeous dresses in every price range. Know this, dress alterations can be costly, up to several hundred dollars in some cases. Factor that in to your

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budget. You can save money buying the headpiece online where they are much cheaper than in the salons. Call ahead. Most bridal stores, even consignment shops, suggest making an appointment. We made ours two hours apart to allow time for travel. We brought snacks so we wouldn’t forfeit precious time eating. In that call, find out if they have dresses in your price range. Know before you go. Remember this, Mom. Your daughter will read your cues. If you go into this affair believing it will be fun and keeping the dress hunt in perspective, it’ll be a wonderful experience you will both cherish for years to come. Want to share your dress shopping experience? We’d love to


First and foremost, remind your daughter the main focus of the wedding day is the marriage to the right partner, not what you wear.

hear from you! Email us here:

GRAND’s editor, Deborah Carroll is Grammy to Avery and Damon and author of two parenting books. Her most recent works include the narrative nonfiction, Tales From the Family Crypt: When Aging Parents Die, Sibling Rivalry Lives, and a children’s picture book about grandparents, Real Grands: From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be.

grand finale

It’s 2017, do you know what your dreams are?


ew Year’s resolutions are often promises we make to ourselves and later break, thereby invalidating the deal we made. Is that any way to start a new year? Or to start anything for that matter, with the likelihood we won’t make good on our vow? I say we throw the resolutions out the window and start off with something guaranteed to bring us joy. Dreams. Dreams can represent the stories we tell ourselves, the aspirations and fears we embrace, or the goals we set. They come in the night, creeping in without notice, and they fade just as quickly, like stardust. If we try to capture them, we often fail, as 95% of all dreams go unremembered. But what if this year we begin by allowing our dreams to see the light of day? What if we take some time to consciously address the things previously left to our subconscious? What if we take the time to dream while we are awake? My grandson goes to sleep each night after his bedtime story with this routine line up of



activities. He announces them loudly to anyone putting him down, “Lay Down, Dream Starter, Song.” By that he means first you must lay down with him, then you discuss his “dream starter,” and then you sing. The order changes but the components don’t. The “dream starter” can be one of two things. Either you begin describing, with his input, what he might dream about that night, “Tonight I’m going to dream about playing with my friend Frank,” or for variety you can describe what he’ll say when he wakes up in the morning. “When I wake up in the morning I’m going to run into Mommy and Daddy’s room and say ‘I had the best dream; I dreamt about eating chocolate cake with my baby brother.’” My suggestion is that we all start this year by introducing dream starters to our bedtime routine. Take a few moments, just before you go to sleep to will yourself to dream about your hopes for this year. What would you like to do that you haven’t done before? Or that you did a while back and then forgot how much fun it was so you let it go? What are the things you’ve left out of your life for a variety of reasons but you’d like to do them while you still have time? Places to go? People to see? Hobbies to try? Challenges to take on? Invite yourself to dream. It’s good for the body, the mind, the heart, and the soul. Start your own dreams. Who knows? You may even be able to make one of them come true once you’ve identified it. Even if you don’t, letting dreams come to your conscious mind can bring you a few moments of hope with no broken promises! From all of us at GRAND to all of you, here’s a wish for a new year that makes dreams part of your reality. Happy New Year.

Thank you for reading this issue of GRAND! GRAND’s editor, Deborah Carroll is Grammy to Avery and Damon and author of two parenting books. Her most recent works include the narrative nonfiction, Tales From the Family Crypt: When Aging Parents Die, Sibling Rivalry Lives, and a children’s picture book about grandparents, Real Grands: From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be.

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