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The life of the modern grandparent

February 20, 2010 | 11:30 am

This week the Home section has two stories about what it means to be a grandparent in 2010. Former Times columnist Al Martinez writes about a growing trend: raising your grandkids. Not long ago Martinez's spirited granddaughter was warring her father (his son). Rather than have her live in a foster home, Martinez and his wife took her in, making them two of the 4.5 million grandparents in America who are primary caregivers for their grandchildren. 

Writer Whitney Friedlander takes a look at a lighter side of grandparenting with her exploration of Grandma Camps. There are grandparents out there who invite all their grandkids to their home for a weeklong series of structured activities. One grandmother spent a week with hers investigating gems and minerals; another chose genealogy. People who've done it say this is a way to connect with their grandchildren beyond e-mail and Facebook.

-- Deborah Netburn

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Illustrations, from left: Rebecca Bradley / For The Times; Janell Genovese / For The Times