Grandparents: Got any advice?

December 10, 2018

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Leading up to the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival and the arrival of Jane Isay, author of Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today, who has plenty of advice on grandparenting, Jewish News asked readers to submit their own words of wisdom, humorous anecdotes, serious tips, etc. Here’s one from Jennifer Zoberman.

Crumbs don’t matter at this grandparent’s cookie party

I love waking up to the pitter patter of tiny feet and shouts of “cookie party!” as my grandsons leap into my bed. They can’t wait to pick a cookie and get the party started!

Our tradition started back in 2012. That’s when I retired after 32 years of being a classroom teacher and reading specialist. No longer having to wake up early for school, I started keeping cookies by my bed to eat when I take early morning medicine. At that same time, I started my monthly visits to see my daughter Rachel, her husband Ben, and then two-year-old grandson Danny in Potomac, Md. When Danny would wake up, either at his home or mine, he would enter my room and jump into bed. We started eating cookies together and doing all sorts of fun activities from reading and playing games to drawing and having interesting talks. In 2014, Andy was born and it wasn’t long before I started taking him out of his crib to join the party.

Now, the boys are seven and four and still run into my room every morning we’re together and scream “cookie party!” The party lasts from 20 minutes on a school day to two hours on a weekend. We try a variety of cookies each time I visit as it makes it more fun. Of course, I always bring the ones they love—sugar cookies and vanilla wafers—in case the new ones are “yucky.” Danny loves looking up information on my iPad. He’s memorized when all the U.S. presidents were born, served, and died. We’ve studied dinosaurs, the Titanic, aircraft, and so much more. Andy loves to hide behind the door and yell “cookie party!” before he brings all sorts of stuffed animals in the bed and plays his imaginary games. The boys also enjoy playing together on the iPad.

Our cookie party means a bed full of crumbs, but I cherish every crumb I sleep on. Who would ever imagine that taking medicine in the early morning could result in the most joyous time of my life? I have no idea how many more months or years this will last, but it is a delicious tradition I hope the boys will always remember and maybe even continue one day as “sabas” (grandpas).

Jennifer Zoberman

Letter to the Editor