The Growing Season

Today, I discovered an in-the-works documentary that might just revolutionize our nation’s notions about elderly care, child care, and the power inherent at their intersection. The movie is called The Growing Season (formerly titled Present Perfect), and it is scheduled to be released later this year.

“Stepping into most any nursing home, it’s hard to ignore the sense of isolation one feels on behalf of the residents living there, and even harder to reconcile that with the fact that old age will inevitably come for us all. In our fast-paced, youth-obsessed culture, we don’t want to be reminded of our own mortality. It’s easier to look away,” begins project leader and Seattle University adjunct professor Evan Briggs.

She was inspired to delve into the concept of elderly care when she learned about the Mount Intergenerational Learning Center in Seattle, an award-winning child-care program located on a campus that is also home to more than 400 senior residents.


“When I heard about the Mount and its Intergenerational Learning Center, I was struck by the simple perfection of the concept. I was further intrigued by the idea that with neither past nor future in common, the relationships between the children and the residents exist entirely in the present,” Briggs explains. “Despite the difference in their years, their entire sense of time seems more closely aligned. As busy, frazzled, perpetually multi-tasking adults, we are always admonished to live ‘in the moment’. But what does that mean? And with the endless distractions provided by our smart phones and numerous other devices, how can we? I was curious to observe these two groups, occupying opposite ends of the life spectrum, to see firsthand what it meant for them to simply be present with each other.”

Briggs says that The Growing Season explores the experience of aging in America—both growing up, and growing old—and captures the subtleties and complexities of children’s interactions with their elderly counterparts. She challenges viewers to consider what value a person offers to others throughout his or her life. “Are we asking for the right contributions from each other? How do we measure and define a successful life?” she asks. “While this film doesn’t shy away from confronting some difficult realities, it is ultimately a life-affirming story of hope that, we believe, just might lead to serious positive change.”

Here’s a sneak peek:

Learn more about the project at

You can also pre-purchase a digital download of the film to help support the project on

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  1. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    FABULOUS IDEA!! We need to do this alot more and get older folks in with small children as they all live in the ” present” . heartwarming film clip- brought tears to my eyes.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is what communities should all watch and work to incorporate into the lives of it’s citizens. Oh, how I would love to see this idea take hold and become the norm rather than what exists at present. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Krista says:

    I really love this idea and I bet so many lives have been touched by this experience. It would be nice to see this happening in more places. I could only imagine how lonely people feel in a nursing home, but children could bring them much joy just by spending time with them. Really hope this idea catches on.

  4. Jacqueline Ferri says:

    What a beautiful idea ! When I used to visit my aunt on a nursing home, it was sad to see the lonely patients. Some were put out to the hall and just left there , alone and nothing to do. I hope this concept spreads!

  5. jona newcomb says:

    Thank you for the link to the growing season film. I am a pre school teacher, and watching this truly touched my heart.💞

  6. My father was 86 when he died (at home with his family around him) and during the last few years, even thru dementia, he always lit up when he was with the grandchildren, and he would hold the smallest in his arms an be face to face, softly talking to them with a HUGE smile on his face and a RAPT FOCUSED child looking up at him. They connected on a spiritual level, one had just crossed the threshold from spirit to physical, and the other was preparing himself to travel the opposite direction, and they both seemed connected (with ease) to BOTH sides. At one point, while holding a grandchild who was not yet walking, he kept saying, “Yes, We understand Each Other….” over and over. milkaTheAppreciator

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