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Dear Caroline,

I worked very hard to raise my son as a single mother. He’s now married and has four-year-old twins. Here’s the problem: My daughter-in-law, his wife, comes from money. Every time we get together, even if it’s not a special occasion, her parents lavish the grandkids with gifts. Since I’m on a tight budget, I show up empty-handed. This imbalance makes me feel less important to the children. What can I do?

…Corta de dinero

Dear Corta,

Believe it or not, showing up empty-handed allows you to stand out and bond with those kids in a unique way.

What are your interests and talents? What did you love to do as a child?

If you love books, you can be “The Reading Grandma” and regale them with story time and children’s verse.

If your talents lie in the kitchen, you can be “The Baking Grandma” and invite them to help you decorate cookies or knead bread.

If you’re musical, you can be “The Singing Grandma” who teaches them songs. You get the idea.

The possibilities are as large or as small as your imagination. Whether you show your grandkids how to make paper hats from a newspaper, see the constellations in the night sky or dance the twist, your time, attention and enrichment are worth more than anything money can buy.

Here’s to making priceless memories!


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