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, August 4, 2011

A Pearl From My Mom

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 8 years since my mom passed away. Throughout the years, I sense that she's been guiding many of us from a faraway place. Yet she seems to whisper right into my ear at times. I feel her presence when things seem so difficult, and also when things are going gangbusters great.

We've just returned from a glorious 12 days in Kauai, and every once in awhile during the trip I felt my mom right next to me, taking in the beauty of the crashing waves, double rainbows, and dazzling sunsets. It's been 13 years since I was last in Hawaii, and on that trip both my mom and dad joined us. This time, my dad was there in body, and my mom was there in spirit.

My dad and I had some good talks on the trip. He reminded me of two things he and my mom always hoped for when raising the four of us. One is that we would always be there for each other, through thick and thin. The second is that each of us would find at least one endeavor that we felt *really* good about...a sport, an academic goal, any passion in life that brings happiness and confidence. It can sometimes take time to find these passions, but the journey is part of the fun!