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Grandparenting made easy

Two campuses are a hit with kids

Created date

August 24th, 2009

[caption id="attachment_2037" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Seabrook resident Julie Miller enjoys a walk with adopted great-grandson Jack, along with his mom Suzanne Forsyth and grandmother Linda Radano. (Photo by Kathleen Szczepanik)"][/caption] Some would say that stand-up female comic Rita Rudner hit the nail on the head when she said, Have children while your parents are still young enough to take care of them. On the first Sunday of September after Labor Day, families across the country will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of National Grandparents Day a day set aside to honor the men and women who have been there to love, support, and, many times, take care of the second and even third generation of their off spring. My wife (Rose) and I have always played an active role in our grandchildren s lives, says Bernie Papa, who lives at Cedar Crest in Pompton Plains. Now that we re here, we are even closer to ourthree grandchildren who live locally in Pequannock. In addition to Grandparents Day, this month the Papas are celebrating their sixth year at Cedar Crest. They spent 35years in Wayne and are happy to be able to pick up their 9-year-old grandson Matthew from school and swim practice on a daily basis. Their granddaughter Laurie (Matthew s sister) works at Cedar Crest s Fireside Restaurant, and older brother Andrew has enjoyed the campus dining options on his frequent visits. We spend a lot of time together, and I m really involved in all of their lives, Mr. Papa says. It s been consistent over the years, and I m so proud of all of them. The time is special, especially since the oldest is leaving for college now. For me, every day is Grandparents Day. What do people do? Hallmark estimates four million greeting cards will be sent in the U.S. to grandparents from coast to coast in honor of Grandparents Day. Some will make a phone call. Others will send flowers (the forget-me-not is the day s offi cial fl ower) or gift cards to a favorite store or restaurant. We have always recognized Grandparents Day in a special way, says Cedar Crest Community Services Manager Erica Koizim. This year, we ll continue our country fair theme that includes a petting zoo and country western music with a wide variety of refreshments on September 13, which is always a big hit. It s so nice to look around and see so many generations having fun together. Cedar Crest resident Julie Masterson agrees that time and attention are the most precious gifts you can receive as a grandparent, and she enjoys her weekly visits with granddaughter Jenn Newnom and great-grandson Tyler, who will be three at the end of this month. It s such a joy when they come to visit, Masterson says. Tyler calls me Ge-Ge (great grandma). He loves to climb on the big rocks out back and likes the flowers that surround the gazebo. I have all the conveniences that I can ask for here and my family close by. God s dividend: the ability to see your grandchildren and greatgrandchildren grow. Doing the things you love Seabrook resident Bobbi Johnson takes advantage of the community s sprawling 98-acre campus when six of her ten local grandchildren come to visit from nearby Hazlet and Keyport in Monmouth County. The girls out number the boys, and they run the gamut from elementary school to college. [caption id="attachment_2036" align="alignright" width="280" caption="The Cedar Crest gazebo is the place to be for resident Julie Masterson to enjoy a weekly visit from her granddaughter Jenn Newnom and great-grandson Tyler. (Photo by Kathleen Szczepanik)"][/caption] We take a walk around the pond and then have dinner at the Princeton restaurant, Johnson says. They just love the dessert bar, and for some reason, they want to just sit on my balcony they love it. Julie Miller has lived at Seabrook for seven years, and although she is a widow and doesn t have any children, she regularly enjoys the company of her adopted great-grandson, 21-month-old Jack, who is the son of her goddaughter living in Flemington. He just loves to come here, Miller says. He enjoys the indoor pool and can t wait to eat a hotdog at the Tides Caf . It s important to me that they are close enough to visit. It just makes me so happy.