Every incoming United States President furnishes the White House to his liking. From rugs and furniture to paintings and, as we say in New York, “tchotchke’s.” Each President has been unique – Thomas Jefferson added a wilderness museum. Martin Van Buren gave the “Blue Room” its namesake color. Theodore Roosevelt installed a tennis court. And Jimmy Carter installed solar panels.
President Joseph Biden just put his own touch on the White House décor –a crib for his 10-month old grandson, Beau. This simple wooden crib speaks volumes about the importance of family to our 46th President. While many may refer to him as the nation’s Commander in Chief, I’d like to think of him as our Grandparent in Chief. While at age 78, he may be our oldest president to be elected, in his first week alone, he signed over 30 proclamations – from climate change to COVID-19 protocols. And as far as I can tell, he’s just getting started.
Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal – we can all agree that age does not define us. In fact, it unites us. Grandparents are relevant, vital and insightful. And the Pope agrees! Just this week, Pope Francis announced the institution of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will take place each year on the fourth Sunday in July. In 1961, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale founded Grandparents Day in the United States, which is held on the second Sunday in September. It is a day for us to celebrate the older adults in our lives and acknowledge all that they do.
As President Biden settles into his new role leading this great nation, I am thankful that he is surrounded not only by respected advisors and experts, but by family who know him simply as Grandpa.