Grandparents & Grandfriends Day 2021
A HEART-filled message from our Head of School, Dr. Driskill
What do Grandparents and Grandfriends mean in the lives of Abiqua students? Many of the students expressed their thoughts eloquently throughpictures, words and songs.
Abiqua grandparents support students in innumerable ways, from supervising homework, to providing transportation, to helping with tuition expenses. Those who live far away demonstrate that education is valued within the family by encouraging engagement in classes and school activities. Some grandparents support the education of all our students by contributing to the Annual Fund. We are collectively grateful for Grandparents in all the ways they assist children and young people.
I am pleased and proud that we honor Grandparents and Grandfriends at Abiqua. The story of my own grandparents is a little different than that of most youngsters. Although we now use the term Grandfriends, I referred to these Friends as my honorary Grandparents. My biological grandparents lived thousands of miles away and I only saw them a few days every several years. Therefore, my honorary grandparents were more “real” to me than my flesh and blood relatives. Besides, I had lots of cousins who lived closer to those grandparents, so they didn’t “miss” my siblings and me.
I enjoyed going to “Grandma and Grampie’s” house. When the weather was nice, there were lots of great outdoor treasures to explore. I loved to climb trees, wade in the creek, feed the cows, or roam the hills and woods. These experiences provided fertile soil for my vivid imagination. During the winter, the wood stove kept their home warm and cozy. Grandma baked wonderful cookies and pretended not to know what was happening when I said, “Those sure are good cookies, Grandma.” She invariably replied, “Thank you. Have another one.” Grampie did the shopping and sometimes invited me to ride to town in his old pickup truck. This expedition also concluded with cookies, but in his case, a small cardboard box of Barnum’s Animal Crackers.
Whether Grandparents or Grandfriends, significant older adults can be incredibly important in the lives of children. They tend to have unstructured time to spend with kids. Grandparents are notorious for lavishing love, hugs and patience - among other things - on the little guys. They often give youngsters a safe space that is free from judgment and parental expectations.
As the holiday season approaches, we know that multigenerational gatherings will be happening, in some families, for the first time since 2019. At some tables, there will be empty chairs that loved ones once occupied. Whether your holiday plans include spending time with Grandparents or not, remember to “Enjoy the NOW.”