This Sunday is National Grandparents Day in the United States.
What does the word “grandparents” mean to you? For me, it has many meanings.
I think of my own grandparents, who have all passed away. I was exceptionally close to my grandmothers and used their maiden names to name my first born. I think of wonderful afternoons connecting as well as missed opportunities. I think of how delighted they would be at news about my boys and the comfort they would have given me on days parenting seems overwhelmingly tough.
I also think of my own parents and in-laws. At their age, my grandparents were settled in their communities and lived a simple life day to day. My kids’ grandparents are go-getters! It seems they are always traveling, taking on new experiences and have a full calendar. They are redefining what it means to be “older” and to be grandparents.
And in some cases, grandparents are acting as parents for their grandchildren. In fact, 2.7 million grandparents were responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under age 18 living with them in 2011. Of these caregivers, 1.7 million were grandmothers and 1.0 million were grandfathers.
Either way, today take a moment to think of and thank all of the grandparents in your life. Happy National Grandparents Day!
National Grandparents Day Facts:
In 1970, Marian McQuade began campaigning to establish a day to honor grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This day has been celebrated every year since in honor of our nation’s grandparents.
7 million: The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under age 18 were living with them in 2011.
10%: Percentage of children in the U.S. living with a grandparent in 2012, totaling 7.1 million.
A special thanks to The Census Bureau for providing these statistics.