Sunday, March 15, 2009

Free fun for grandparents

I planned to write my first article about grandparenting for the Orlando Examiner yesterday, but life got in the way. An emergency call had me zipping down the interstate to pick up the youngest fruit of our family tree for a day with Grandma. I ended up BEING a Grandparent instead of writing about it.
This is a normal event in my world these days and my day was filled with baby wrangling and joy (the feeling and the dishwashing detergent).

The role of grandparent varies widely and changes constantly. Some families live many miles away from their senior members. Others live in the same home as parents and/or grandparents. We have at least one thing in common with the parents; the love of these precious children.

According to AARP Grandparent Report of 2002
About 1/3 of all adults are grandparents.
The average age of becoming a grandparent is 47
The average age of grandparents is 64
The average grandparent has 6 grandchildren
About 77% of grandparents are married
About half are still working
A slight majority, 54% have some college education

Even though slightly out of date, those statistics are true enough in this household. Five of the six describe us perfectly and the sixth is only a tiny bit off.

Probably everyone agrees this is not the time to spend our money carelessly and for free fun, you can't beat the parks and playgrounds. On the way out the door yesterday, I grabbed a swim diaper, a towel, 2 bottles of water and a box of animal crackers. Once my little cherub was loaded into the backseat of the van we were off for some sunny FREE fun. When we arrived at the park I noticed the Lake Closed sign with dismay. Sure, the water is still a tiny bit chilly, but wading was not out of the question. On to the playground in the park. Once I was parked, I jumped out expectantly, opened the door and discovered... oh NO, the little guy was sound asleep. And when this kid naps, he is good for a few hours. I noticed a dog park there on the way out. That should be good for a bit of fun next time.

In this space, we will expore more of the many and varied ways grandparents can enjoy and nurture their grandkids. There are many ways we can enrich their lives and our own. Your input and ideas are welcome here as well.

Next time we will begin to explore ideas for $-FREE FUN.


Ibne Hanif said...

I'm not a grand parent, but It was interesting to read your informative post about grand parents. Thanks

Catherine Al-Meten said...

Nice! A lot of what is true for grandparents is also true for parents...sometimes as parents, we missed the opportunity because we didn't know what to expect or were focused on doing a good job. And of course, as parents, we had to learn all about living life in endless task. Grandparenting is great because, if we're smart, we'll take advantage of perspective and hindsight, and enjoy the ride more!