I have bone to pick with our teachers we had way back in Grade 12.
They taught us all the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic and carried out their duties as they had been doing for years.
However, no one advised them that our baby boomer generation was headed for a time when our parents were going to live into their 90s, our children and their children may be living in our basements and the promise of Freedom 55 was right up there with “peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.”
A course titled, “How to Care For Your Parents While Raising Your Grandchildren,” would have been much more beneficial to us than French 12. I have never spoken French to my parents, children or grandchildren but I have spent a lot of time advising, counselling and caring for each generation, all in English.
A common conversation goes like this: “Hi Bob, how about a round of golf today?”
“Well, we have the grandkids till noon because our daughter went back to work part time, and then I have to take mom to the eye specialist this afternoon, so I don’t think I can work in golf.”
The course could have included some practical guidelines like, ‘Converting Your Recreation Room to a Legal Secondary Suite.’
Robert Frost said it all when he said, “Home is the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
Baby boomers are finding they have boomerang children.
Just when you think they’ve gone, they come back.
The course could have prepared you for when you had to take a parent to the doctor, knowing full well they were going to be told they couldn’t drive any more while, later in the week, you’re tasked with picking up your grandson after school and taking him to write his driver exam to get his “L.” These are life changing situations for all three generations and maybe a bit of schooling on what consoling or encouraging words to use might have come in handy.
Maybe a heads up on the day you would be dragged into the dance store to look at tutus and shoes for your granddaughter and then spend the afternoon at the clinical pharmacy, getting advice on your mom’s compression stockings and getting her medication sorted into blister packs.
We don’t complain about finding ourselves in the generation sandwich. We get a chance to pay back our parents and we get to know our grandkids, often spending more time with them than we were able to with our children.
That weak, tired hand I’m holding by the hospital bed used to put a cold cloth on my fevered brow, and as long as I have grandkids, I can figure out my cellphone.
I have learned a lot about commodes recently but I haven’t used, physics, chemistry or algebra once. They taught us the wrong stuff. At least that’s what McGregor says.