How does an award-winning journalist contemplate a transformative change in her own life? With prodigious research that finds room for the blind love growing in “a whole new chamber in my heart.” Lesley Stahl, longtime correspondent for “60 Minutes,” has a lot to share about Becoming Grandma.
Bowled over by her “thunderstruck” reaction to the birth of her first granddaughter, Stahl decides to examine grandparenthood in all its scientific, psychological, familial and cultural dimensions. She begins by looking for an explanation for her unexpected euphoria and discovers there’s a scientific reason for it: Oxytocin, the hormone that the female brain releases upon childbirth, works for grandmas, too. Stahl compares the experience to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, altering women from within and changing “what even the most career-oriented woman thinks is important.”
Stahl surveys the mothers, stepgrandmas and surrogate “grans” of today’s fluid families, including great-grandmother Whoopi Goldberg, columnist Ellen Goodman and Stahl’s “60 Minutes” colleagues.
Stahl calls the rewards of grandparenting the “extra bonus points” that come with aging. Now well into her 70s, she is still working—and her two beloved granddaughters are keeping her young.