Grandparents: Keeping Grandma and Grandpa Close

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With Joy and David's help, Dorothy and Apryle found a nearby apartment in the summer of 1997, and the two immediately began caring for Meret and Thea Grace, who arrived in February 1998."I couldn't ask for sweeter babies," says Dorothy. "It's been such a joy to watch them to develop, and to have an influence on them."

On a typical day, Dorothy and Apryle help the girls learn their letters, ride their tricycles, and watch cartoons with them. On one occasion, Dorothy even ran over to help Joy with Meret, even though she had just had eye surgery and wasn't allowed to lift her head.

"Meret had an awful case of the stomach flu, and I figured that since you're usually bending down to take care of a child anyway, that I'd go over," she explains.

The childcare arrangement was so successful that when Joy and David bought a larger house last summer, they asked Dorothy and Apryle to move in, creating a loving, three-generation household." Joy says we're like the Waltons," jokes Dorothy. Son David is also delighted by the full house. "I don't think the kids could imagine life without Grandma," he says.

Four year-old Meret would agree. When Dorothy made plans to visit her mother in Arkansas one summer, Meret fretted until Dorothy's plans fell through. "Then she came over to me, patted my face and said, 'Grandma, I'm so glad you live in the room next to me,'" Dorothy recalls.

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Copyright © 2001. Reprinted with permission from the April 2001 issue of Child magazine.

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