Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson

CNN.com

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The images of the helicopter departure of Michelle and Barack Obama from the White House on January 20 felt awkward, certainly theatrical, if not slightly surreal. Don’t get me wrong, everyone played his or her part and the exit went off without a hitch. What kept nagging at me was, where were the girls, Sasha and Malia? Or, perhaps more accurately, how can our first family of the last eight years depart—even symbolically—without the children and to me, as important, without their grandmother, Mrs. Robinson [...]

No More Popping Babies—But Still Good to Go

yo te vigilo by Raúl González

"yo te vigilo" provided by Raúl González via Flickr's creative common license

I sink exhausted in my chair at lunch, my 4-year-old grandson sitting across from me, and hit the play button on the VCR so that the next episode of Thomas The Tank Engine rolls through while we eat. The morning has been endless moves from inside to outside, upstairs and down, [...]

How Kids Really Succeed

How Kids Really Succeed, by Paul Tough

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched my grandson, Matthew, then 18-months-old, struggle to connect the cars on his train set via hooks. They were slippery, some turned the wrong way, making them difficult to fasten. Time passed—minutes that felt like hours. Would he ask me to help? Cry or throw the cars in frustration? No, none of the above, though I was on the verge of all of the above. Grit, resilience, self-control, and optimism are among the important traits, according to Paul Tough’s article, that lead to success in learning. [...]