Quick, buy a greeting card: Grandparents Day 2013 is Sunday, Sept. 8.
"In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This day has been celebrated every year since in honor of our nation's grandparents," according to the US Census Bureau.
The word "grandparent" generates all sorts of memories for me, but I most vividly remember flying across the country to visit my paternal grandparents in the Chicago area. We ended most visits with an early morning box of donuts. As we drove away, my grandma waved to me from her porch as I sat in the passenger side of the vehicle.
I waved back, and continued to wave even when I knew we were beyond eyesight. It just felt better that way.
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At 31, I've lost both sets of grandparents but I find comfort in believing that somewhere, they're still just a wave away.
In honor of Grandparents Day, here are five noteworthy facts about grandparents.
* The average age of a first-time grandparent is 47, according to AARP survey results released in 2012.
* If your grandma's on Facebook. you're not alone. A 2012 Chicago Tribune article cites research suggesting 38 percent of adult social media users are over the age of 65.
* "The average number of grandchildren is seven; 55 percent have five or more grandchildren; almost a quarter have 10 or more grandchildren," according to the aforementioned AARP survey results.
* Not everyone likes the terms "grandma" and "grandpa." Though those were the most popular grandparent nicknames in a recent BabyCenter survey, respondents also cited nicknames like "Nana," "Papa," "Granny," "Granddad," "Mimi" and "Poppy."
* In the US, Grandparents Day has its own song, according to Wikipedia. Check it out.