Years ago, I heard an adult granddaughter eulogize her grandmother by quoting her saying, “Never buy a bottom without a top.” It struck me as simplistic and a bit sad. This was a woman’s legacy? But now, what I hear as a grandmother is a close and loving friendship. How many enjoyable hours they must have shared and how many real-life issues they must have discussed!

What can this grandparent/grandchild relationship be? How can you make a satisfying one happen? What are important heads-up? Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens was designed to help sort that out. Sharing with others at the same life point, with well-curated Jewish text and well-guided discussion, we looked at the challenges of physical distance, the contours of existing relationships with our adult kids, interfaith realities, the power of respect and the language of appreciation.

I look at my grandkids and see happy, curious, engaged people. Their parents absolutely deserve frequent recognition for that, and this class reminded me to really do it, and I have! And I learned that when we have the opportunity to spend time with the grandkids on vacation, in carpool, just babysitting, we need to say thanks because we are indeed thankful for every one of those moments. Even better, the parents’ appreciation of my appreciation is evident.

For me, this class provided context through text, windows into others’ wisdom and so many “aha” moments.

I now suspect that one’s legacy evolves from many small moments of closeness, and I look forward to continuing to forge those connections with my grandchildren.

Learn more about Hebrew College’s Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens classes.

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