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Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

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Back to Bubby Basics

When it comes down to it, simple is often best. When things get broken down to manageable steps, life is so much easier. My friend shared that with me the other day. She told me how she had babysat her grandchildren and found that life has become so complicated these days. My friend felt that she couldn’t help her grandkids with the math homework, because the “new” math has concepts that are so foreign to us Bubbies. Similarly, this friend noted that Hebrew words are so different than the traditional Hebrew language that we remember growing up with in our Hebrew day schools. Today’s modern Hebrew has become more of an imitation English, that my friend felt that the Hebrew homework was also too complex for her to oversee her grandkids completing.

My friend confessed that the only thing she was able to handle when her grandkids were over at her house, was giving them baths, reading books to them, and taking them to the park.

That’s it. Well, to me that was great news. At least some things never change. I mean, here we are in the 21st century, using computers, blackberries, I-phones, DVD’s, and so much technology that our children’s day-to-day activities barely resemble that of our own childhood. And if we are to care of our children and grandchildren, we need to relate to their world.

So thank goodness that parks are still around, bathtubs more or less operate the same way, and books are still around. If nothing else, how are we to preserve a Bubby/grandchild relationship with such a large gap in technology, education, and language?

Here’s to bathtime, rubber duckies, shovels and pails and The Cat in the Hat. — all skills that a bubby from any century can handle.


The 7 Habits of a Successful Zaidy

Mazel Tov! It’s a Zaidy!

What? Am I changing my title? Writing a new book? Having amnesia?

None of the above (yet), actually. I just decided to write about my perception of what it must feel like to be a Zaidy. Of course this is only guess-work, as one can never know what another person is feeling. Yet, still I tend to observe behaviors and patterns. Therefore,  based on my “research” on the various Zaidies (grandfathers) that I have known, I have reached a conclusion.

Here are the 7 habits and theories of successful grandfather-hood.

Disclaimer: The examples below are purely fictional. Any resemblance to a grandfather in a reader or even this blogger’s life, is purely coincidental.  And yes, this disclaimer is absolutely honest and sincere! (notwithstanding previous post “disqualifying disclaimers”)

* Zaidies take pride in their  Zaidy-hood. Just as grandmothers feel happy and proud to be in that new status of doting on her grandchildren, and spoiling them rotten, so do grandfathers. This is quite interesting, especially keeping in mind that men are from Mars and women are from Venus (or is it the other way around? I forget…). But in this case, grandfathers are equally crazy about their grandchildren, and relish the time they have with them – just like their female counterpart, the Bubby.

*A Zaidy has no qualms about being or feeling old. Unlike the Bubby, who likes to remain young and cool, the Zaidy is not interested in that sort of thing. In fact, the Zaidy ages quite UNgracefully in his role as Grandfather. He gets white hairs, wrinkles on his forehead and a pot belly, faster than one can shout the words, “Mazel Tov!” at the bris or kiddush for his first grandchild.

*A Zaidy has zero patience for diapering his grandchildren. If he was the kind to diaper his own kids when they were small, consider those skills completely forgotten. Once he puts his official Zaidy cap on, he loses all abilities to place velcro over plastic of the diaper. Finished. Kaput. Done. Don’t expect it and all members of the family will be happy.

*The best way to get a Zaidy to relax is to put a grandchild on his lap. Even if the Zaidy is eating lunch on Shabbos, or doing work at his desk during the week, or otherwise occupied, he will be most agreeable to having a small child interrupt his activity and will smile, coo and wink at that child.

*Zaidies love telling stories of their own childhood to all who listen. Good listeners often include the grandchildren. This penchant for storytelling begins around when the moms and dads of said children leave the kids with the Zaidy for babysitting. Said children are to be found on Zaidy’s lap when parents return,  well taken care of, well-storied, and well educated. No comment on the status of the cleanliness of clothes or mess in the home.

*Zaidies love to teach, to instruct, and to pass on skills. Whatever skills their own children resisted are given a “second chance” to be integrated into the next generation’s psyche. So for example, if Zaidy’s own children hated astronomy, Zaidy has another chance with his grandchildren, and he buys his first grandson a telescope at the first opportunity.

*Zaidies get quieter as they get older. The more talkative the Bubbies get, the quieter the Zaidy’s become.

There you have it – The 7 Habits of Successful Zaidy-hood. (and of course the old adage that “all  generalizations are false”… applies here – for those who find this post highly generalized!)


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