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Learning from 'Grandad'

by Kimberly Mears, founder of Bumble Box

Our family recently ‘adopted’ a 90 year-old grandad. Our adoption is very informal as we met him at a library event, liked him and have continued to have coffees together and trade books ever since. Living far away from our parents, adopting this local granddad has been a great way to acquaint our children with the elderly, but has also been an inspiration for me.

Our adopted grandad, is nearly 90. He is fit and active, gets into the city for cultural events regularly, is wise and intellectual…he brings much to the conversation. Though he has family near and far, he never had children or grandchildren, so I expect he enjoys our chats as a chance to have a meaningful conversation with someone who’s a bit younger than 60.

We’ve talked about politics (he used to teach the topic, so he puts me to shame), happiness, health, education, gardening, the environment…the list goes on. With every conversation and exchange, I’m reminded of how much we and our children can learn from our elders.

Inspired by our friendship, our adopted grandad has begun to volunteer to read with the children at my son’s school and I’ve been inspired to beef up on my history so that I can understand the world a bit better. I can see what a benefit being active mentally and physically pays in later in life.

As family members move about the globe, I suspect many families will begin to cultivate meaningful friendships with ‘grandparents’ in their local community (or perhaps we’re playing catch up and our peers already do). From our experience, it seems to be a win for everyone involved.

Wondering where to find an local elderly person to 'adopt'? From our experience, your neighbourhood and the local library are a good place to start.

Kimberly is the founder of Bumble Box and writes about issues facing parents and children today based on her own experiences with two little ones at home.

Bumble Box kits are designed to bring families together. We catch animals' footprints in the sand, give the trees a shake to see what's living in there, host a Family Olympics, plant a fairy garden, race homemade boats in the stream...you get the drift. Together, we'll make it through your family-time bucket list. 

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