Wondrous Child: The Joys and Challenges of Grandparenting [NOOK Book]


A Santa Cruz postpartum doula, a New Hampshire flute-maker, a Zen teacher, a dance therapist, a Sri Lankan film director?these are a few of the grandparents who share their stories in this bracing collection. The essays cover a wide range of experiences as they examine the marrow of this often undervalued relationship from both the grandparent and the grandchild point of view. A common thread running throughout is the special importance of ...
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Wondrous Child: The Joys and Challenges of Grandparenting

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A Santa Cruz postpartum doula, a New Hampshire flute-maker, a Zen teacher, a dance therapist, a Sri Lankan film director—these are a few of the grandparents who share their stories in this bracing collection. The essays cover a wide range of experiences as they examine the marrow of this often undervalued relationship from both the grandparent and the grandchild point of view. A common thread running throughout is the special importance of these relationships, which are often as complex and rewarding as the parent-child connection.
Wondrous Child is divided into four parts. In Part One, “Settling In,” new grandparents survey the territory and describe their expectations. Part Two, “Balancing Reality and Hope,” takes a deeper look at some of the heartbreak that can occur, as well as complexities: step-grandparenting, spanning geographical distance, the surprise of children living with grandparents. Part Three, “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren,” explores men and women parenting their grandchildren in the absence of parents. Part Four, “Grandchildren Remember” is written by grown grandchildren who catch the tone and feeling of this special person in their life. These vivid essays will appeal to both grandparents, as a celebration of their place in the family, and new parents curious about how grandparents can contribute to their children.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Wondrous Child] provides a window onto the importance of a growing issue—and population—involved in both parenting and child care: grandparents. … [The anthology] collects 28 personal essays from grandparents and grandchildren across a variety of backgrounds."
Publishers Weekly

“Lately, as I deal with two adolescents and two more on the way, I have come to think that the entire point of parenthood might be grandparenthood. Certainly I expect it will be more fun. The delightfully honest essays of Wondrous Child illuminate the warm and loving yet complicated (even occasionally fraught) relationships between parents, grandparents, and the children they all love. It's a must-read across the generations.”
—Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother
“As the demographic bulge of the Boomers moves into grandparenthood, Wondrous Child will help men of my generation, who were often unprepared to be parents and left their children with a wobbly role model of good fathering. Being a grandfather is a second chance to give and receive the blessings that flow from nurturing a growing child. This thoughtful anthology will help you put your best into creating a rewarding relationship with your grandchildren.”
—Will Glennon, author of Fathering and 200 Ways to Raise a Boy’s Emotional Intelligence

“Since the ability of the heart and mind to respond, with love and ingenuity and dedication, to grandparenting challenges is the theme that runs through all these stories, this book might well have been titled ‘Grandparenting as a Spiritual Practice.’”
—Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness Is an Inside Job

Wondrous Child is a treasure, exploring the life passage into active grandparenting in sensitive and surprising ways. Savor the essays one or two at a time, so you can extract the most pleasure and meaning from each—ideas and perceptions from this book will stay with you for months to come. An ideal gift for moms, proud dads, and the grandparents in your life.”
—Anne Mollegen Smith, former editor-in-chief of Redbook and McCall’s

“Within these pages is proof positive of the loving legacy between grandparents and grandchildren. Proof positive that the generations have much wisdom and joy to pass along.”
—Judy Ford, family therapist and author of Wonderful Ways to Love a Grandchild

“This often-surprising collection of essays explores the complex role of grandparents in today’s world of step-grandparents, ex-spouses, gay grandparents, racial issues, and what one writer calls bridging ‘geographical and emotional distances.’ Though there’s a vast array of experiences in these touching essays, common threads run through them: the fierce and overwhelming love we feel for our grandchildren, how we end up learning from them, and how very complicated the emotional bonds of three generations can be. As a besotted grandmother myself, I highly recommend this book.”
—Barbara Abercrombie, author of A Year of Writing Dangerously and editor of CHERISHED: 21 Writers on Animals They've Loved and Lost

“A bible for the uninitiated and a hymnal for the rest of us, Wondrous Child delineates the landscape of grandparenting in thirty graceful and grace-filled essays. The writers include grandchildren and grandparents raising grandchildren; their diversity allows us to experience grandparenting from many perspectives. The overall effect is that of sitting down for dinner with an articulate, honest, and lively group of friends.”
—Susan Adcox, Guide to Grandparents on About.com

“Touching and truthful, Wondrous Child does not spare the hard times, but shows fully the love possible between child, parents, and grandparents. The diverse group of writers Lindy Hough has brought together in Wondrous Child inspires us to summon our best with our grandchildren in good times or difficult. I want to give this book to all the grandparents and parents I know who are navigating three-generation relationships.”
—Susan P. Halpern MSW, author of Finding the Words: Candid Conversations with Loved Ones

"Look at the cover of Wondrous Child, and you'll know that you have in your hands a grandparenting book that's a little bit different. There's a distinct emphasis on the emotional and spiritual rather than the physical and practical. I feel enriched and empowered  by these grandparenting stories."
—About.com Grandparents

"Lindy Hough's Wondrous Child: The Joys and Challenges of Grandparenting is a book of an entirely different nature. A collection of short essays by grandparents of multiple stripes, it is an engaging and very personal look at how love weaves itself through generations, gender, class, race, and age. Hough, a poet and editor, has gathered writers from hither and yon to share their experiences of grandparenting. The resulting compilation is a cornucopia of feeling and situation, some of it unexpectedly dark, but all of it intimate and touching."
Huffington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583943786
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 296
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Lindy Hough was born in 1944 in Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Smith College and earned an MFA from Goddard College. A journalist and dance critic, she has taught writing and literature in colleges and universities in Michigan, Maine, Vermont, and California. She cofounded the Berkeley-based mind/body/spirit publishing company North Atlantic Books with Richard Grossinger in 1974, and was publisher and editorial director for many years. She coedited Nuclear Strategy and the Code of the Warrior: Faces of Mars and Shiva in the Crisis of Human Survival and is the author of five books of poetry, including the recent Wild Horses, Wild Dreams: New and Selected Poems 1971–2010. For more information, visit her website at www.lindyhough.com.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword xi

Introduction xvii

Part 1 Settling In

Wild Thing Baby Jay Mankita 3

Following Fifi Kitty Hughes Bridget Connelly 4

In the Order of Things Douglas Silsbee l5

Talking about Race and Gender Joan Steinau Lester 23

In and Out of Step Gloria Avner 30

The Whirling Heart Dance of Grandmothering Saphira Linden 34

Carving Paths in Snow Gill Wright Miller 44

Listening to Leo Lindy Hough 57

Part 2 Balancing Reality and Hope

Evolving as a Grandmother Nadia Natali 67

Grandparenting with a Broken Heart Judyth O. Weaver 72

Professional Grandma Salle Webber 76

Confessions of a New Step-Grandparent Sharon Bray 84

Love through the Distances Keith Dalton 93

Four Generations of First-Born Daughters Donne Davis 102

Twins—Day and Night Joanna Biggar 110

The Accidental Grandmother Karine Schomer 123

Part 3 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

A Heart's Perspective Avery Bradford 141

An Explosion of Love Joanne Maurits 149

The Grampy Diaries John Lunn 155

A Legacy of Parenting Lenora Madison Poe 168

My Grandkids Keep Me Young JoAnn Wynn 177

Being There for a Child Forever Karen Best Wright 186

Part 4 Grandchildren Remember

Hark, the Moaning Pond Tissa Abeysekara 195

Calling Clotilde Lauren Aczon 211

The Collapse David Jackson Cook 220

Grandmother's Lap Nancy Hathaway 299

The Russian Album Michael Ignatieff 235

Angels Gather Here Vanessa Smith 247

Obaachan: What Do You Want to Do? Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu 255

Contributors 263

About the Editor 269

Permissions and Copyrights 270

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