Date: 15 Oct 2009

What He Said to Me Stuck: Adolescents’ Narratives of Grandparents and Their Identity Development in Emerging Adulthood

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Jim (age 21): “My Mom’s father – my grandfather. A very independent guy, but a very caring guy. They (grandparents) go down to Florida every winter. And our family often goes down to spend some time with them. My grandpa really loves swimming in the ocean. So he would go out floating on his back for hours at a time…When I was younger, I used to stand on the shore and watch him float out. He would disappear and come back and ask me if I wanted to go out. I did once and people were worried because I was only ten. My parents and my grandma were concerned, ‘Oh, he’s too small,’ even though I was with my grandpa. But what he said to me stuck. What he said was I need to know my own limits, my abilities. Other people are going to have their opinions and worries and concerns, but being independent is taking that stuff into consideration, but then also doing what you can.”