Intermittent Grandparenting


Here’s Abby and Taryn (aka Cindy Lou Who) at the park that’s within walking distance of their house.

For those of you who remember our ill-fated June trip to see the grand daughters and family in South Dakota last June (the one with 9 month old Taryn leaping out of the high chair and Abby finding the rattlesnake in the back yard) you’ll be pleased to know there was no such excitement on this trip.

Nor did the December weather do its worst and the pipes back home didn’t freeze after all (my wee-hours dread).

As soon as we got to her house, Abby (almost 8 now!) had to show me a story she was writing on the computer. She is excited about creative things and I think has a good bit of art in her. I suggested we take her story and put it online. We’ll work collaboratively on it over time, and add pictures to illustrate it, too.

In the process, we can create together, gently and toward a purpose meaningful to her, on punctuation and spelling, on storytelling and sentence structure, and on how to use the Internet to share your creations.

I wish I’d had someone to guide me into writing and art when I was young.

Grandparents–even those who live a thousand miles away from their grandchildren–can serve the role of guide and mentor. It’s never been easier with the tools we have now, even though a virtual hug just is not the same as the ones we got in Rapid City just a few days ago.

By the way, be sure and visit where you can find a wealth of resources and ideas of things to do and places to go with your grand children and stories of how the generations live together creatively.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Abby is a lucky little girl to have a grandparent who can interact with her in this way. Online, or not!
    Thanks for the tip re:

  2. Hi, Fred! This is the first time I’ve been to your blog. I was attracted because of the grandparenting post. I’m lucky enough to actually be living with one of my granddaughters right now and the other is only 40 minutes away. It is such a joy, though, isn’t it?! An added bonus in visiting your blog is finding out about your photos, book, and cards! I plan to purchase some soon!

    • Hi Karen, glad you found Fragments (was it via the site by any chance? They have recently been kind enough to list the blog among their favorites, much appreciated!) I’d be happy to send along some note cards or book(s)–turn around should be only 48 hrs max at my end.