Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion on Becoming Grandma  CSPAN  July 4, 2016 3:15pm-4:01pm EDT

3:15 pm
wrote in 1965 after visiting alabama, shortly after she wro martin luther king, jr.'s march from selma to montgomery. so she went there. she stayed with people. spoke to the locals. and then came back to chicago and shared what she learned down there. so this part is processed. people can come in, they can do it now. what is unprocessed is the very large photograph collection that she, her husband and family left us. about 3,000 photographs, unprocessed still. there are a number of duplicates. this is just the first one. >> who were the reverend addy and reverend claude wyatt?s >> absolutely. they were copastors of a church on the south side, located on stone any island and 890th. it is still the, the church is still going. vernon park church of god was the name of the church they copastorred for over 40 years. however, addi wyatt was a meat cutting packer and union
3:16 pm
activist in the 1940s. that was just one much her causes. she was cofounder of the black trade union organization. in this photo you can see she was a speaker and a cofounder of the first coalition of labor women. they held their first convention here in chicago in 1974. over 3,000 women attended and they spoke for a few days and she is here in this photo giving the opening address. >> when do you see yourself finishing her papers? >> hopefully as soon as possible. sometime within this year. going to be some work done to the library. we would like to have her photograph collection fully processed before that happens. it just starts in the 1940s and goes all the way up to the early thousands. there is great number of photograph of her work with mayor harold washington and also the work she did to help, she was trying to help pass the equal rights amendment. >> all right. beth loch, once again if people
3:17 pm
want to come and see the vivian harsh collection here at the woodson library, how do they do it? >> just walk in the front door. you walk in the front door at woodson. go to your left. the library is open seven days a week. you can view the exhibit then. if you want to view archival collection, five day as week. mondays through thursdays and saturdays. only thing you need to look at collection a photo i.d. or library card. >> this is booktv on c-span2, we want to know what is on your summer reading list. send us your choices @booktv is our twitter handle. you can also post it on our facebook page, facebook.com/booktv, or you can send an email to @booktv at c-span.org. what is on your summer reading list? booktv wants to know. [applause]
3:18 pm
>> thanks for coming on such a beautiful day. >> our first beautiful day in two weeks, right? welcome, everyone, i'm john maynard, director of programs here at the museum. this is signature program, inside media. what a thrill to welcome our guest today, lesley stahl, a true trailblazer in the broadcast journalism. the past 25 years she served asd correspondent on television's most respected and revered program, 6:00 at this minutes. she was cbs news white house correspondent during carter, raring began and part of the george w. bush administrations and hosted sunday morning program, "face the nation for eight years.ra it was five years ago she took on her most important and rewarding job and that is grandmother. leslie's new book, becoming grand ma, the joyce of science of new grandparenting, explores how becoming a grandparent can
3:19 pm
truly transform women and men. we'll talk about that book today and a little more about lesley's amazing career. please help me welcome, lesley stahl. [applause] before we get to the book, i want to ask questions about your colleague, morally safer who officially announced on wednesday he is stepping down from "60 minutes" after 40 plus years. tell us your thoughts on morley. >> there is a sadness when the people mo were the heart and soul of "60 minutes," almosthe from the beginning, leave. morley, everybody knows, liked the sort of off-beat stories and he has, he's done the signature stories of "60 minutes," the kind of piece where you say, wow, no one else would do a story like that. >> right. >> he had a twinkle in his eye. he was a beautiful, whimsical writer sometimes. you don't always see onwrit
3:20 pm
television.wa and i'd known him since he was the cbs bureau chief in london. >> wow.ef >> in 1969. well, i have already dated myself with the book. >> right. >> and, he, he was always a person who cared deeply about the journalism side of what we do. >> right. >> and he is really going to be missed. >> yeah. >> he is also in my book. not that i keep saying the book. >> right. >> but he is in there as a grandfather. >> right, right. i believe tomorrow night there's a one-hour special with all his best stories on "60 minutes," some one question i always tend to ask authors, when they appear as when and why did you decide to write this book? it seems to be safe to say the answer can be found in the titly itself, "becoming grandma"?
3:21 pm
>> yeah.dma"? but, i there was a publisher in new york who asked me to lunch to talk me into doing another book. i had written a book before called, "reporting live." it was about my journalism career here in washington about the presidents i had covered. >> right. c >> he wanted me to write a book about "60 minutes." i thought to myself, you know, if i really told the back, the back stories they would fire me. if they didn't fire me, no one would talk to me. >> right. >> so i said no, so fast. there we were stuck having lunch together. my granddaughter was about one at time. i just talked about her, talkedd about her, talked about her. he said, you know, that's your book. this is what you're thinking about. this is what you're caring about. and i went away, and tried to think if the subject would sustain my interest over several
3:22 pm
years. i didn't stop working because i knew it would take several years to write. i decided it would hold my interest.. >> you first learned your daughter taylor was pregnant with her first child, what were your initial thoughts you were going to be a grandparent? were you frightened or amazed? >> i was thrilled.gh >> okay. a >> i discovered in my grand tour, get it, grand tour of grandparents because i have interviewed a lot, that if you're young, meaning 50 or less, and your child comes and says you're going to be a grand parent, you look in the mirror to say, no, i'm too young. if as was my case your daughter makes you wait, you think, oh, my god, am i ever going to be a grandparent. she made me wait so long that i was thrilled, thrilled, thrilled. >> all right. >> so was my husband. >> right. i'm -- we have a few photos from
3:23 pm
the book i will display. we'll start with you with jordan. >> that is my first. >> that is the first one, jordan. >> tell us, what are you feeling in that picture there? >> here is another reason that i wanted to write the book. i'm holding her, i think that is probably the very first time i'm holding her. a couple of things are happening i'm falling madly in love. i'm just looking at her and it is hopeless, i have fallen off a cliff. and the subtitle is, the science of grandparenting. my i discovered in my research, like mothers, grandmothers when they're born actually secrete a hormone. it is called oxy tauzin -- called the bonding hormone. i am bonding with that child. i had such an extraordinary,ch
3:24 pm
deep, almost thunderous emotion course through me and i wanted to know what that was. you know, everybody told me, being, there is nothing better than being a grandparent. it is the best thing that could ever happen to a person.n. i heard that, heard that, heard that, but no one talks about this emotion. it is a kind of loving unlike any other. and i wanted to find out what that was. now i know it's a surge of hormones. no one thinks that way. it really changes us, it truly changes us. >> i was going to mention, the science in the book, which you. talk about, tell us about some of your research that you did, how you kind of studied about the science of it. >> well. , that was a big question in the beginning, what was going onov with me? i discover ad book called, the
3:25 pm
female brain, i which recommend by louann weisendein. she talks about chemistry of women at every stage of life, when they're children, teenagers, mothers and she talks about grandmothers. the grandmother part was very short. so i did what i would do if it were a "60 minutes" story and i called her on the phone and interviewed her. she, i said you know it is kind of crazy but i really feel like i have fallen in love with the classic sense of falling in love.en she laughed, she said, you did. because the pathway, sort of the neurons of he he romantic love and boy/girl love and baby love is the same so you are feeling something similar.
3:26 pm
>> two years later along comes chloe. >> then along came two and i thought am i going to have theto same feeling for number two? i thought i wouldn't because, it doesn't happen twice. well of course it did happen twice. and i bonded with her too. >> right. i want to show a picture of you and working together. >> that is more recent. >> right, right. >> well, i find that among the many changes that take place in us, this is both grandmothers and grandfathers, that we canan not say no to our grandchildren, no matter how strict we were as grand parents, no matter how critical, no matter how much we were on their case, grandparents love uncrittably. we love unconditionally and, we never say no., it's always yes. if they want -- i hated going to the park with my daughter. i hated it. i hated slides.te i hated pushing the damn swingin
3:27 pm
back and forth and my grandchildren want to go the park, i'm there. i am pushing the swing and it's great. there i am going down a slide. imagine. anything they want.go >> speaking of you being a parent there, you are. >> that is my daughter. >> taylor, right. >> you know where we are? we're at easter egg roll. >> in washington at white house. >> white house. >> that is the kool-aid guy. so tell us you touched on it there, what is differentit between, what you felt for your daughter when she was born as opposed to a grandchild? >> well, when you're a parent, even from the very minute that baby's born you're worrying. you know, parents don't ever really sleep until they go to college. they don't sleep for 18 years. if you have more than one, it could be 25 years, because this worry is perpetual. we feel responsible.
3:28 pm
mothers when they give birth secret a hormone that makes them vigilant. they are really almost in a way fearful. that goes on and on. i remember all i ever did, i was covering the white house and i made lists. then i made lists of my lists. i was so afraid i would drop a stitch with my daughter.y and, i, and as i said, it could be a disciplinarian. you're trying to get your children in shape for life. with a grandchild, it is just simply joyful, period. it is automatic. we're not thinking about it. it happens to us. and it is almost universal. i have met grandparents who aren't that way.y. >> right.. >> but mainly, most of just turt into marshmallows with our kid and i do think it is part of this physiological change that comes over us.
3:29 pm
>> you also get into the book about how the roles of grandparents have changed over the last three or four generations. >> over millenia. >> right. >> in the way back old days, caveman times, the both parents went out and hunted. both parents tilled the field and left babies with grandma. grandma was responsible basically for raising the babies. that is the way mankind developed and as we became more and more civilized, grandma wasw still in the household and, grand ma was still raising babies.s it is still the case in china and india. it was the case before the industrial revolution for the most part. if you didn't, if grandma didn't live in the house she lived very nearby. i now think that when grandparents don't live near
3:30 pm
their grandchildren and don't see them a lot, that we actually physically crave them. you detail in the book a growinw population of people are now custodial grandparents. >> let's talk about two different sides. all growing out of really the recession, and its its lingering effect on younger people, millennial's. our kids who have young kids are getting good jobs and making a good living. it takes two parents now to earn what one parent use to earn
3:31 pm
going back to my generations. they are having trouble with childcare because it is so hideously expensive and they're having trouble buying things. grandparents, i came upon thee statistic after i wrote the book grandparents are spending seven times more on their grandchildren today than they did just ten years ago. we are paying for medical care, were were paying for their education, were straightening their teeth, we are in there buying not toys, yes toys, but in addition, big ticket items. we are bang the crib. we are buying the car seat. we are involved that way and if were nearby, we are babysitting. to just take the burden off the kids.
3:32 pm
now custodial, there is a seriously sizable chunk of grandparents in the united states today who are raising their grandchildren. they have custody of their grandchildren.n. there are many reasons, drug addiction jail or death. it's never a good reason. but grandparents can be surprised one day when they've just retired or are thinking of taking a cruise were playing golf or whatever and they find they are raising three little babies. this is not that uncommon. it is hard. my sister-in-law who is a psychologist and has some of these custodial grandparents as her patient said they are the un- sung heroes because they are amongst us.a
3:33 pm
they are really, they're struggling. it's very hard to raise a child child. you know, this is another interesting thing, whoever is raising the kid becomes the disciplinarian, so if you need a grandparent who is helping to raise the kid, they are not as permissive as those of us who see them from time to time. >> you have a whole chapter in the book devoted to a very special place called hope meadows. i love how you set up the chapter. you say were supposed to stand coolly on the sidelines, keeping our opinions to ourselves and our emotion holstered. screw that when it comes to the story of hope meadows. tell us what makes this place so special to you. >> this is one of those planned communities. it was developed by a single woman who was writing her phd
3:34 pm
thesis on the foster care system in the state of illinois. she was seeing child after child being rejected by the foster parent and shunted from one family to another family and it was breaking her heart.in she decided that if foster parents lived in a compound together, they wouldn't give up on the kids because the other families would help them and support them. so she talked to the pentagon into giving her some beautiful homes on an air force base that was being shut down. she wanted 12 houses. in she found 12 families to take in and adopt, this was not foster care, taken and adopt foster families.e they were taking and sometimes for, three kids and raising them forever. the pentagon said we can't give you 12 homes. that's ridiculous. you have to take a section.
3:35 pm
so they gave her 88 homes. she wanted 12. she has 88 homes. what to do. by by the way, she got 88 gorgeous homes for $250,000. eighty-eight for $250,000. each one for $250,000. each one would cost more than 250,000. so what to do with all these extra houses.ut she put ads in newspapers and things like that and said any senior citizen who are retired and want to downsize from their big houses you can come and live here for subsidized rent, very low rent. so senior citizens from all over the country came in and filled up the other 70 houses. organically, baby cam the grandparents of these kids were all troubles, everyone was a troubled kid and they became,
3:36 pm
the kids would choose who their grandparents were. they didn't have to have a grandparent but they did anda they would call them grandma and grandpa and they too helped thet families struggle through some very difficult times. i tell a story of one man who lived there and he had been told that he wasn't going to wasn't going to live more than a year. he lived and lived because he became a grandfather. it was a very volatile young kid.t he had been kicked out of a lot of schools. he was a troublemaker and he was punching the other kids. so this grandfather would go to school with the boy every day and sit next to him to calm him
3:37 pm
down and get him through school, which he did. he got them through school. >> great story. were going to, by the way, we want to get to some questionswh and we have two volunteers here so just raise your hand and they will come to you. this book is more about grandmothers but it's also about grandfathers and by the way,, grandfathers, there is is your husband aaron, tell us his experience?ence i >> one of the things i discovered going back to the science is that taking care of grandchildren for a man can lift depression, it can make somebody who is lagging in skills better, it certainly makes people happier. my husband has parkinson's disease and the weirdest thing happened.
3:38 pm
right after jordan was born his symptoms disappeared. now no one gets better with parkinson's, believe me.at, di what happened here? did he not have parkinson's? we went from doctor to doctor to find out what happened. one said he had west nile virus. come on. so for one year he was symptom-free. he hadn't been able to drive, he was driving again.ry i'm a very slow walker and he couldn't keep up with me but he was now walking ahead of me. it was stunning. the parkinson's did come back and he has parkinson's, but that's a dramatic, i don't know if it's because of jordan but we can't think of anything else - and we have another picture of him. >> here's the other thing about grandfathers. they are sitting at these little
3:39 pm
tables with their grandchildrenm and having tea parties with them and playing with dolls andn rolling around on the floor with their grandsons. you know, my husband was a very good father and a very good father but you hear people say, you you know i didn't know my father that well when i was growing up. look at him with my kid. >> to have a question. >> ahead. >> leslie saul, am i on?ley stah >> i've been watching you since well, when i was younger. i'm here with my mom and were having a weekend away and i'mgh enjoying your talk even though i came in a little bit later. one of the things that i've read about is the importance of grandparents and their longevity, there was a study done, i think it was a ted talk
3:40 pm
and they talked about the blue areas of the world where people are living to 110 or above in those areas are where the grandparents are actively involved. >> i rest my case. >> in the families. i think in our society as aa wh whole, we have one child that lives in this part of thechild country and another here and were so into our independence where we just lose a lot of that. a lot of the parents of the family being involved when somebody gets sick, when somebody loses a job. so i think, it's just kind of tailing on to what you were saying. i >> my grandchildren live in los angeles and i live in new york. what i've discovered is that there's this trend that's happening and it's becoming a big moment of people, when they
3:41 pm
retire picking up, selling the50 house they lived in for 50 years, 50 years, leaving theirun friends and their communities and moving to live near their grandchildren, to be be in their life and help their kids and to help raise their grandchildren. there's this imperative, i called it a craving before, but we don't want to miss this.k yo so, let me ask you a question now that i've made my comment. do you feel there is a new trene that we've now gone through this expansion of everyone doing their own thing and now were leaning toward not becoming a consumer oriented society, do you think will get back to our roots?w >> 's going to be awfully hard to break but i do feel that there is this almost compulsion on the part of the older folksrh to be near their grandchildren. now some of the younger folks
3:42 pm
aren't necessarily thrilled that mother-in-law is going to be moving into the house. so what i say in the book and what i feel is, don't move too close. don't move into the house. h nearby. they need our help in the matter how bad the relationship is, everybody has to suck it up because it's good for the kids. they really benefit from having grandparents. a grandfather's actual job is to tell the little kids about the history of the family, give them a sense that they go back and they come from something. when we all lived in a familiar compound, it was a natural thing we were living together to talk about my mother and my grandmother and where we lived
3:43 pm
in if we moved to the united states, where we came from. there are just endless benefits for a child. this unconditional love that i talk about, everybody needs to have that in their life. that's our job to let them know they are just unrelentinglyble. loving. >> before we get to the next question, now that cspan is in the house, our good friends are filling us, i want to talk about politics. it appears that hillary clinton or bill donald trump will be in the white house and they are both grandparents and they are the first since george w but. >> i wrote a lot about fdr as a grandfather. i love this. fdr would have his morning staff meeting in his bedroom.
3:44 pm
he would be eating breakfast on the tray in bed and he would have cabinet members, the treasury secretary would beer there sometimes and his policy advisor, all of his assistants and when his daughter and i got divorced she moved into thean white house with two little kids. they were 56 or six and seven and they would burst into theff room in the middle of the staff meeting a lot, not one time but a lot. one would be here and one would be there and in the middle of staff meeting he would read the funnies to them because the funnies were a big deal. he acted out all the charactersn in the treasury secretary would be rolling, he was a delightful
3:45 pm
grandfather and doting and patient. eleanor was a different sort. she was a distant grandmother. she is the grandmother that proves the rule. but franklin's mother, sarah, she was the indulging, madly in love grandmother and they called her granny. >> think we have one more >>estion there. >> when hillary, when we knew she was going to run for president which was millennia ago, i thought that age was going to become an issue for her. in fact, marco rubio was making it an issue. trump is older than hillary, i
3:46 pm
have this theory that the baby boomers are devoted and have devoted their lives to being young. these people do not feel like the old 69 and seven -year-olds. we all feel they have a lot of energy and usefulness. which grandmothers are really coming into their own. it used to be a stigma. somebody said to me, you can't admit your grandmother. you can't say you're that old. i'm hoping that this book is rid of that silly stigma. first of all, baby boomers, we
3:47 pm
are such a giant bulge in theet. society and were all going to be grandparents soon. we've determined attitudes and culture, whatever age we've been and were going to change attitude toward grandparentingat and i hope my book helps with that. >> i was wondering, what advice you have for either parents or grandparents or both when they have maybe a disagreement about how their kids should be raised. >> that is an excellent question. this is not an advice book by the way. me giving advice about mothering or grandmother in, you don't want to listen to my advice. i was a working mother, i don't even know how i held it together. but, i do write a lot and tell a
3:48 pm
lot of antidotes about how the balance of power in a family shifts the minute that grandchild is born. we know that our children hold the key to the thing we want most on this planet which is those babies. we are terrified of antagonizing and making them mad. the worst sentence in the country for a grandparent is no, don't come over today or don't visit next week because we all want to hold the kids. were all walking on eggshells. sometimes you just can't hold your tongue. it's just too unbearable. for example, i was there when my daughter left her child in the crib to scream.
3:49 pm
i swear i didn't say a word. we left to go back to our hotel and my husband said to me, i can't believe how critical you were. i said i didn't say anything. he said you didn't say anything? you didn't shut up. i said what did i say? he said we didn't do that with you and you turned out okay. generally my impression is that i'm holding my tongue. grandmothers, i think, and grandfathers should hold their tongue.us i think this generation is doing a better job than my generation. we were the first when into the workplace. as i said before we were barely holding it together. we didn't have the balance quite right in our children are conscious of that family work
3:50 pm
seesaw and they are weighing, they are putting more weight on the family. i love the way kids today are raising their children so hats off.weekend >> i have two questions. first, do you plan to retire to move to los angeles real soon? >> i don't know my retirement plan. >> secondly, related to that, do you find that there are some advantages to living in a different city and flying in and being the fun grandparent? >> no i find no advantage to living across the country. if and when i retire, i have thought about moving. it's in my head. i don't know that i would, i
3:51 pm
thought about it but i don't think it's an advantage forhi anybody, our age group or anyone but no matter what the relationship we can help our kids, no matter how bad the relationship is, we can still help our kids. >> we have time for a couple more questions. q >> this is a suggestion, for your next project, my mother-in-law who died about a year ago at the age of 98 sat down with her very adult children and their somewhat less adult grandchildren and recorded nine hours of memories of her life. the grandchildren sat around and asked questions and she talked about her childhood, about hearing her time in school and she spent her entire career helping children so this was
3:52 pm
very easy for her to do. her grandchildren and great-grandchildren love to listen to those recordings. this is a project you should do for your family and perhaps write about that in your next book. >> i'm hearing such great things after i wrote the book that i wish were in there. i love that idea. >> in the front. >> i'd like to know what your grandchildren call you? >> this is a huge, this is huge. what are they going to call us? i wanted to be granny. my grandma said you are not going to be granny and because she runs my life she said no you're not. i thought if my granddaughter tried to say leslie because all
3:53 pm
my grandchildren called her by her name, i thought how would it come out and i thought it might come out wally so my husband said to me okay, if you are lali, i'm pop so we are lollipop you know the grandchildren, until very recently they were too young to get it. but one day the 5-year-old said you're lollipop.e she got it. >> leslie will be signing copies of her book right outside the studio and you can also get a copy of that. i think i heard a story aboutin this photograph. tell me the story. >> we obviously staged the photo.k
3:54 pm
if the older one, the little one was jumping up and down and we could not get them to cooperate. we taped an iphone into the book and put on frozen. there watching frozen. [laughter] >> a little secret for us. >> that's truth in advertising. >> last few questions, i want to talk about your career. tell us about getting your start at cbs in your first big break. >> i was hired because of affirmative action. i had been a reporter in boston and affirmative action came intk force. i heard all three networks were desperately looking for women and minorities applied and i was
3:55 pm
hired in washington and within a couple of weeks, from my arriving, there was this break-in at the democratic party headquarters at watergate. nobody thought was a story so they decided well it's thes democratic had quarters, will send the new girl. the arraignment came two or three days later and they still didn't think it was a story so they sent me to cover the arraignment. there was one other reporter there. bob woodward, and he told me all along, don't ever let them take the story away from you. so i got to cover watergate. >> and then you just celebrated your anniversary, with 60 minutes, tell us how you maintain the show?
3:56 pm
>> were a organization that does it the old-fashioned way. we don't change the way we do our work, the subject matter or even that clock is the same.he the fact that were still in the top ten shows you that there is a huge appetite for serious balanced reporting. by that i mean were not supposed to tell you where were coming from in our own mind. i think the public appreciates that. i think some websites might think about trying our model. part of the model is that we actually get time to think. if you are reporting today, you're immediately putting it out on twitter instantly. it happens and boom you're onm, the air. it takes us weeks, months to put
3:57 pm
our stories together. a good story needs that.i want >> becoming grandma is a lovely read and i want to thank leslie stahl for coming here today. >> it was a pleasure. think you. >> thank you all. [applause] once again, were were going to go back here but leslie will bee out signing copies of the book. [inaudible conversation] >> the new boston post recently put together a list of the top ten summer books. the list starts off with george
3:58 pm
wills, the pursuit of happiness and other sobering thoughts which is a collection of essays written in 1978. william f buckley junior is next on the list with an exploration of his roman catholic faith in nearer my god. the downing street years by margaret thatcher is third and discusses her time as the prime minister of the united kingdom. in the way of the wasp examines the personality and value of george hw bush and his views on public service and tradition. the autobiography, the undocumented mark stein is fifth on the new boston post list followed by the closing of the american mind which is alan bloom's critique don't critique of american culture. next on the list is the debt bomb which lays out a plan to make the government more fiscally responsible.
3:59 pm
peggy noonan has the time of our lives which is a collection of her column and comes in eighth on the list. finishing off the new boston post list of suggested summer reading are randy barnett's examination of the constitution and how it applies to politics today and restoration, another book by george will on term limits and a functional democracy. book tv is covered many of these books over the years. you can watch them on our website book tv.org. >> book tv recently visited capitol hill to asked members of congress what they are reading the summer. >> i just started this morning, a phenomenal book called the age of discovery which talks about the renaissance, michelangelo 500 years ago and all the tumultuous events in the world that led to opportunity and
4:00 pm
relates that what's happening now. live in an uncertain environment and there's so much going on in the world with the spread of technology and internet and globalization. two things can happen. we can screw it up or we can use the events to create hundreds of years of prosperity. it's a phenomenal book that i just started. >> will it take you all summer? >> i can probably do it in a couple weeks, i'm a rapid reader. i'm a writer also. when i'm not reading, i'm i'm writing hoping that one day my writing will be read. >> you have, and book book tv has covered you talking about your books. >> i actually started something called a riders caucus and it's a group of 20 or 30 members of congress from both sides of the isle who enjoy writing. we have authors come in and talk to their process and it's just a wonderfully refreshing group of members. >> book tv wants to know what you are reading this summer. tweet us your answer a book tv where you can post it on our facebook page, facebco

285 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on