Edited By: Valerie Connelly
Publisher: Nightengale Press
Publication Date: September 2009
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: August 2009
What makes grandparents so special? Is it the unquestionable love they have for their grandchildren? Perhaps it’s the freedom to spoil the little ones or spend hours telling stories. Undoubtedly, the unique bond grandparents share with their grandchildren is something that is cherished by all involved. The Art of Grandparentingexplores the elements of this distinctive relationship in a touching and heartfelt manner.
The Art of Grandparenting is a collection of 20 essays, each written to beautifully illustrate some aspect of the child/grandparent bond. Following each article is a brief “Tips & Tricks” page which succinctly summarizes the important points in the preceding text. There is also an “About the Authors” section at the end which includes a photo and brief bio of all the contributors.
The topics covered in The Art of Grandparenting include a broad spectrum of concerns; all are well written and enjoyable to read. Some of these compositions are silly, witty, and humorous while others take a more serious tone. With advice from how best to get kids excited about grandpa’s storytelling, to maintaining traditions, and even dealing with reluctant step-grandchildren, this book has much to offer both the new grandparent and those who are already experienced grandparents.
Rose Padrick opens the book with her essay entitled, “Open Letter to New Grandparents.” Reading this article, the reader gets the sense that Rose is truly one funny lady. With lines such as “Babies smile and coo right up to the moment they are being shown off, at which time they begin a three-hour, non-stop scream fest,” will keep the reader laughing throughout. Other sections will move a person to tears as he/she nods in agreement. Such is the case with Barbara Abercrombie’s “Knocked Sideways By Love,” where she admits that, “…I fell in love. I didn’t know how momentous – as in earth standing still, oceans roaring, heart soaring – it would feel to hold my own granddaughter…”
A refreshing aspect of this collection is that these essays don’t just glamorize grandparenting with fluffy chat about how nice it is to have grandchildren. They offer specific, helpful advice on dealing with various aspects of the role of grandparent. Particularly touching was Rochelle Jewel Sharpiro’s heartfelt essay, “To Grandparents-In Waiting.” What happens when your grandchild, for whatever reason, simply doesn’t want to be near you but only near your spouse? Rochelle was faced with this reality after her granddaughter began to associate her with the unpleasant task of enforcer. The author beautifully captures the pain she felt when rebuked but also of her intense love for her grandchild. How she resolved the problem will have readers cheering her actions and love.
Quill says: “Grandchildren are indeed your second chance to enjoy the perfection of each rose – this time without the thorns,” and this book will guide you on that adventure.