Clip art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey,
It’s Grandparents Day in the UK. Though this day originated in the U.S.A. (where, this year, it was celebrated on September 8th), the UK has started to recognize it, too. And why not? In addition to all the other things they do, grandparents and great-grandparents are the ones best suited to help kids learn about the recent past. After all, they’ve been around a while now. They’ve experienced a lot.
Want to know about the hippie movement? Guess what? Grandma used to be one. How about the March on Washington back in 1963? Maybe grandpa was there, or knew someone who was. And WW II? There are still some great-grandparents around who fought in that war, and grandparents who can remember it from a kid’s perspective. Or perhaps they were in Mexico when the 1985 earthquake devastated Mexico City, or in Darwin when Cyclone Tracy hit in 1974. If nothing else, they probably remember watching these events on TV or reading about them in newspapers. Some grandparents might even still have copies of such newspapers up in the attic – along with magazines, postcards, diaries, and letters. A veritable goldmine of information, those.
But it’s even better to hear it in the form of reminiscences, while seated on a lap.
Or fishing off a bridge.