Grandma's Pearls

I would like to invite you to join me on a journey. On November 1st, 2003, my mother died of pancreatic cancer. Her passing meant not just that I had lost a cherished family member, or that our community had lost a compassionate human being, but as a grandma she had a plethora of "pearls" on nearly any topic of child rearing, and these were gone with her as well. When I became a pediatrician in 1988, I would tap into her common-sense knowledge on a regular basis. Through the years, I found that many of my pediatric patients' grandparents enjoyed sharing their words of wisdom with me in my office, and I found these pearls especially valuable when I started my own family over ten years ago.

The journey I'm proposing is a shared attempt to capture this vast collection of accumulated wisdom on my blog. "Grandma's Pearl's" will celebrate a very special group of individuals who deserve to have a forum for sharing their hard-earned life lessons with others. It will be a compilation of advice from grandparents from all walks of life...capturing the insights of the grandparent-next-door, to the still-out-in-the workforce grandparent, to more.

My hope is that "Grandma's Pearls" will be a ray of inspiration for both new parents and experienced parents alike. Not a "how-to" manual on baby care, but rather a collection of practical, no-nonsense tips on how to raise good kids. You can share a couple of sentences, a paragraph, or a full-blown story if you'd like. I welcome you to share your pearls of wisdom and wit with the world!

Questions (these are suggestions only)....substitute in "dad, grandfather," etc. where appropriate:

  1. What tips do you (or passed down from your mother, mother-in-law, or grandmother) have on raising caring, happy, responsible, and well-adjusted kids?

  2. What did you (or your mom) do right, and/or what could have been done better?

  3. Was there a transforming moment in your (or your mom's) life that served as a guide in raising children? As a result of this moment, is there a "pearl" to pass on?

  4. Do you have a favorite "grandmotherly" quote that has helped you in parenting your children?

To submit a "pearl" click on:



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Making Memories

Here's a wonderful Thanksgiving pearl from Marilyn Lane. Ms. Lane is the co-author of "Parenting With Purpose: Five Keys to Raising Children with Values and Vision."

I remember one Thanksgiving when I was a principal at an elementary school in the Bay Area in California. I was very busy with both my job and my efforts to provide Thanksgiving dinners for some of our school's families. My daughter, who was a single mom, was traveling to my house for Thanksgiving along with her daughter Sarah who was about three or four.

I had almost decided to buy Thanksgiving dinner from one of the supermarkets that provide complete dinners for a price, when I received a call from Sarah. In her usual enthusiastic voice, Sarah said, "OH Grandma, Grandma. I can hardly wait until we get to your house! We can find beautiful leaves to decorate the table like we did last year, and I can help you make the pies and......." and then I knew I had to make Thanksgiving dinner, and include Sarah and her mom in the making. I wasn't just making a dinner; I was making a memory that would last forever. I was providing a tradition and a feeling of continuity and belonging for my family.

Sarah is in college now, and she still helps me make pies. Last year she made two aprons for me for my birthday. On the front, with liquid embroidery, she had written "Grandma" on one and "Sarah" on the other. They both hang in the pantry so we can use them whenever we make pies together.