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.