Award-winning broadcast journalist Stahl (Reporting Live, 1999) shares the joys of being a grandmother.
The author began her career reporting on Watergate and has been a top correspondent for 60 Minutes for the past 25 years. Fortunately, her husband, author and screenwriter Aaron Latham, was able to assume a significant share of the responsibility for their only child, Taylor, leaving Stahl free to pursue her demanding career. In 2011, with the birth of her first grandchild, Jordan, she “was jolted, blindsided by a wall of loving more intense than anything I could remember or had ever imagined.” As someone who has covered suicide bombings in Israel and walked the streets of New York City on 9/11, she had considered herself to be unflappable. She experienced what she describes as an infatuation. Startled, she decided to investigate the importance of the role grandparents can play in the lives of their children and grandchildren. They often help financially, of course, and frequently step in as babysitters or even nannies to ease the burden on parents who are both working. “One in ten American children lives with a grandparent,” writes Stahl, “and a third of them count on their grandparents as their primary caretakers.” For the majority of grandparents, the responsibility is a sought-after joy rather than a burden, and grandparenting often provides a new lease on life for empty nesters. However, in cases of poverty, this may not be the case, especially when grandparents are called upon to assume full parenting and financial responsibilities. For Stahl, it was a second chance to experience the joys of parenting, but she had to continually remind herself not to criticize or give unwanted advice. Through the medium of her own experiences, the author delivers a wise and witty book.
A welcome guide for new grandparents and their children looking to savor the joys and navigate the pitfalls of grandparenting.