I was saddened to hear about the passing of Dorothy Howell Rodham. I was humbled and moved by Chelsea Clinton’s loving words of being a member of a multigenerational family and learning from her parents and grandmother.
Chelsea pointed out the importance of having her grandmother Dorothy, as the family matriarch, model healthy living and productivity. I could hear, in Chelsea’s voice, the fondness, respect, and adoration she held for grandmother.
I was a bit teary eyed listening, because Chelsea’s words made me think back to this past Sunday when my daughter was being interviewed about her experiences living in a multigenerational home.
During the interview, my daughter’s tone was energetic, warm, and lighthearted. She giggled when she recalled certain interactions with my mother-in-law…like the time my daughter sought advice on how not to fight over the Wii with her little brother. My daughter assumed my mother-in-law had a Wii or some other game system as a child. My mother-in-law didn’t miss a beat. She skipped over that generational divide and talked to my daughter about patience, understanding, and being a role model for her brother.
My daughter, during the interview, expressed the love and support she feels from my mother-in-law. She pointed out that my mother-in-law’s presence in our multigenerational home feels natural and uplifting. She said, “I wish other kids had this much one-on-one time with grandparents. They would see why history is important and they would learn to appreciate diverse perspectives.”
In listening Chelsea’s words during her interview, I hope my own children, after growing up in a multigenerational home, will:
- commit to making healthy choices for a healthy and balanced life
- understand the importance of intergenerational connections
- recognize the gift of time with older generations
- potentially invite me to share a home with them…on down the road