I think it is so important to be attached to another generation. It adds history and continuity to our current experience. Even though Mrs. Goren is not a blood relative, she is of the age my own mother would have been. She can tell my kids about growing up in the 1930s. She can relate what life was like in 1954, the year of my birth, although she was not there for the event. And she is a wonderful source of information and inspiration for many of their school history projects.
She also spoils Channy with small gifts and treats. But that is the prerogative and privilege of every grandparent. My friend, Margaret, never chides her parents for buying presents for her four children. In fact, she considers it their duty to be indulgent.
In a few years I will probably be a grandmother. Hopefully I will be around to share in the lives of my children's children, but if I am not or if they choose to live far away, they can continue this tradition of adopting a grandparent.
Whether your parents are living or not, your family, too, can adopt a grandparent. Consider visiting the local nursing home and speaking with the recreation director about the possibility. Some residents do not have many visitors and time spent with your children can brighten their day.
Many senior centers are developing programs in conjunction with local schools to encourage multi-generational contact. Seniors may volunteer as classroom aides or readers. Children may write to senior penpals who they eventually meet at the end of the school year. If such a program is not in place in your community, spearhead a committee to start one.
Older children can visit shut-ins. Those mature enough—or with the assistance of a parent—can prepare meals, run errands, or tidy up. Often churches and synagogues sponsor programs for the elderly. Family participation is always welcome.
Grandparents, adopted or biological, are valuable resources to every child's life.