Monday, December 6, 2010

Over the river and through the woods

Guest column by Cathy of Alex (insert name) house we go!

As I stared out at the white snow colored landscape outside my window this morning and sipped my coffee (good times, good times) I wondered about the death, or rather, dearth of grandparents in the generations to come.

In my generation, grandparents are often the only stable couple a child will know. Their parents may be divorced or never married. In my generation, divorce and cohabitation have risen but the wave spared the grandparents. So, no matter what marital state, or not, your parents were in you could count on going to your grandparents for the holidays and experiencing, perhaps, a taste of what a marriage is and can be.

Not so for much longer, forget divorce, marriage itself has fallen out of favor. There is a marked increase in people who think marriage is not necessary for much of anything. Cohabitation is ok, having kids with multiple partners is ok. The result; it’s not just trading weekends with parents anymore, now it’s trading holidays with grandparents too.

Which grandparent do we visit? Who is grandma living with this month? Even the elderly have begun to embrace cohabitation. Why get married? Too much of a tax hit.

I see a day when the decision of who to visit on the holiday will become so confusing and uncertain that more and more people will elect to stay home.

The NFL may profit from more TV’s turned in to football games but children certainly will not.

I’m sad for the kids who will never know what I did-holidays with my parents and family at my maternal and paternal grandparent’s homes. No, it wasn’t always Norman Rockwell but it was as solid and comforting and Grandma’s custard pie.It was a place to enchange stories and learn family history. It was a place to connect with people who shared your own blood. It was a place to learn what made a marriage work and didn’t from the experts-couples who were married 40 and 60 years.

Many kids will never receive these valuable life lessons. That’s a tragedy.
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