Friday, June 3, 2016

THE JOYS OF BEING A GRANDPARENT



Anyone who watches 60 Minutes knows that its correspondents are hard-charging investigative journalists who do not back down in the face of difficult stories and evasive interviewees. One of the best known reporters is Lesley Stahl, the first woman to join what had been a men’s club. Her resume is quite impressive—she joined CBS in 1972 and despite her great skills progressed because the network was obligated by affirmative action rules to start hiring women and minorities. She became the White House correspondent and moderated Face the Nation before she joined 60 Minutes, where she has worked for 25 years. Now she has a new book, which can be found in regular and large type at the Monrovia Public Library.

Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting might seem like a surprisingly homey title for a woman who is regarded as a tough newscaster, but of course women don’t want to be categorized in one way. The book is more than just the personal story of how this mother of one daughter responded to being a grandmother, but it is also a very readable look at the science and sociology of grandparenting. The book also includes conversations with Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Brokaw and John McCain about what it means to have grandchildren.

Ms. Stahl talks about keeping her opinions and emotions to herself as she reported the news. And here is what happened next: “Then, wham! My first grandchild, Jordan, was born on January 30, 2011. I was jolted, blindsided by a wallop of loving more intense than anything I could remember or had ever imagined.” The author gushes as she talks about the relationship she has with her granddaughters. She also consults with specialists about what her feeling mean from a psychological point of view and explores how grandmothers and grandfathers are currently playing a much larger role in the lives of children, especially when parents cannot care for them. 

Lesley Stahl’s intimate look into her own life and her reporter’s efforts to present a great story about the world of modern grandparenting make this a very entertaining and informative book.

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