Dear Grandparenting: Another Thanksgiving means I’ll be keeping company with my grandchildren again. It’s the only time I get to see my whole gang all together in one place. Last year left something to be desired to my way of thinking. When I asked what they were thankful for, I got the distinct impression my grandchildren were most grateful for the fact they were about to get Thanksgiving over with, because that meant Christmas was just around the corner.
There was no mention of the less fortunate or all their blessings. That was the furthest thing from their little minds. They were busy comparing notes about what they asked their parents to buy on Black Friday, the heavy shopping day after Thanksgiving when the big sales kick in. When our family said grace before sitting down to eat, I noticed that the grandchildren sort of hung back and mumbled the words. Whatever happened to the real spirit of Thanksgiving? Floyd Sowers, Atlanta, Georgia
Dear Floyd: We all have something to be thankful for. If not thankful for all you have received, be grateful for misfortunes you escaped. Those who received less than what they want can be grateful that basic needs have been met, and all should stop and think about the suffering, malnourished millions that go to sleep wondering what new horror the morning will bring.
So what happened to the spirit of thanks? One might blame their parenting, or the materialistic frenzy that has gripped society, or the recent recession that reduced standards of living for so many American families.
This is where grandparents can make a difference. Recent research on the nature and virtues of gratitude show that it helps boost the immune system and reduces stress. According to a study presented to the American Psychological Association, seniors develop emotional levels of wellbeing and equanimity not found in younger adults — an attitude of gratitude for their remaining years and the presence of family, life’s greatest treasure. Seeing is believing, and come Thanksgiving grandparents can stand up as living proof that a little gratitude will get you a long way in this life. Carry the message.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Sally By Golly from Mount Penn, Pennsylvania, was locked in a war of will with grandson Brady, 5.
“All I ever hear from you is chicken fingers, French fries and milk,” Sally told Brady. “It’s not healthy to eat the same thing day after day. How about trying something different today besides chicken fingers, French fries and milk?”
Brady swallowed and thought for a moment. “OK, how about milk, French fries and chicken fingers?”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.