GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 34

Notes from the peanut gallery By Carol Wall Spectator sports: they don’t call it a “grand” stand for nothing O ur neighbor Marilyn—grandmother of four and veteran of what she calls “the bleacher brigade”—describes how it begins: Some years have passed since the birth of that wonderful first grandchild, and so far, you’ve felt a sense of being in charge of his or her general health and happiness. Then, suddenly, you find yourself at a gym or a park or stadium with nerves on edge and a lump in your throat: The child you adore is about to take to the field or the court or the pool or the balance beam, and someone is keeping score without having been informed of just how special this child is. Trying to appear casual, you consult your program (if you have one), put your shades on (if outdoors) or slip a ticket stub into your billfold and take your place among the other grands in the bleacher brigade, and flash a nervous smile you hope conveys a sense of ease. “Inwardly, you’re having palpations,” Marilyn confides. “You look out over all those kids on the field of play, and what you feel is how nobody else’s grandchild looks as wonderful as yours.” Hers is a candid report, for sure. No matter the age or stage—no matter the sport—our agenda is the same: Please let my grandchild do well. And—oh, that’s right!—I guess the team should win, as well. The latter wish is secondary. As grandparents, we are made to focus. We started practicing this the day we took that precious bundle in our arms and pledged our love and loyalty forever. Dr. Jack Watson, a psychologist and associate professor of sport and exercise psychology at West Virginia University, understands the power of such fiercely held protective instincts. Nevertheless, he cautions that, as a grandchild enters the arena of participation in a team sport, a grandparent’s feelings of unqualified devotion may need to be channeled away from instant gratification toward the greater goal of long-term personal development. “It’s natural for grandparents to want to protect their child from any unpleasant or negative experience,” says Watson, a seasoned sandlot coach himself and father of three 34 GRAND JUNE 2009

GRAND Magazine - June 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - June 2009

GRAND Magazine - June 2009
Contents
GRAND Central
Poppy Joe
A Whole New Ball Game
Happy Trails
Pool Safe
Running Together
Notes from the Peanut Gallery
Ask GRAND
Inspirations
Leaving a Legacy
Writing Small Moments
Resources
GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - intro
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - GRAND Magazine - June 2009
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 3
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 4
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 5
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 7
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 8
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 9
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 10
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 11
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 12
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - GRAND Central
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 14
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 15
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 16
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 17
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 18
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 19
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 20
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 21
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Poppy Joe
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 23
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 24
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 25
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - A Whole New Ball Game
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 27
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Happy Trails
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 29
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Pool Safe
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 31
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Running Together
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 33
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Notes from the Peanut Gallery
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 35
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 36
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 37
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Ask GRAND
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 39
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Inspirations
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 41
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Leaving a Legacy
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 43
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Writing Small Moments
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 45
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 46
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 48
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 49
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 51
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 52
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - 53
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - June 2009 - Cover4
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