Generations keep it all in the family

Published 9:15 pm Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ginger Thomas counts herself as one of the lucky ones. When she has family gatherings, five generations attend.
Both of Thomas’ grandmothers are alive, and she recently became a grandmother to Kaden Thomas Rushton, born July 12 to Haley Stringer and Thomas’ son, William.
“He’s a sweetie,” Thomas said of her first biological grandchild (her stepchildren have already made her and her husband grandparents).
Thomas had no reservations about becoming a grandparent.
“It’s awesome because I’m going to have a lot of time to enjoy it,” she said.
Thomas started her child care business in 1987, the year her son was born. Running a business stole precious time from her and her son. She said she missed seeing the little stages of his development.
“I missed a lot,” she said.
Thomas holds a master’s degree in child development. She said she loved watching babies do things that helped them bond with their parents.
“It’s incredible that God gave babies these things that we need to attach to them,” Thomas said.
She said the way babies wrap their hands around a parent’s finger or “smile” are two examples. They are usually just reflexes or gas, but they go a long way in encouraging new parents that they are doing something right, she said.
Thomas, her mother and her grandmothers will be a source of encouragement for the new parents.
One of the greatest parenting lessons Thomas learned came from her grandmother, Louise Singleton Leggett, who turns 90 in May and still drives and lives by herself.
“My Leggett grandmama has told me to let my kids grow up and let them have their own lives,” Thomas said.
Thomas hopes her grandson takes to people like his father always has. The biggest lesson she taught her son was to appreciate people’s differences. She said she would love to see that lesson passed on to the next generation.
“Whether it’s an old lady in a wheelchair at a nursing home or … a 2-year-old throwing a tantrum, William can get along with them,” Thomas said. “And that is something I hope that Kaden will do.”