Dear Grandparenting: I have to give my grandson Rick a big shout out for doing the right thing. Because have you noticed how many grandchildren are born out of wedlock today? They grow up in single-parent households, or maybe the mother bounces around and never really settles down with anyone anywhere. It makes it tough for children, little children especially.
It’s been a long, strange trip for Rick. He fooled around and fell in love like 19-year-olds do. The girl is three years older and already has two little girls. Rick freaked out when she told him she was in a family way again. They split up for a while. We all thought Rick was looking for the door. Turns out my grandson was getting his act together!
That was eight months ago. Now I am a bona fide great-grandfather and my grandson is a proud family man. He moved into the basement of her father’s split-level. The girl gets spot work around town and Rick does meals, naps, diapers and everything else.
My grandson knows what’s wrong with this picture. He’s always worked and is looking for steady work. “I am the provider,” he says. Instead of bolting, he stuck around. That shows me he’s responsible and accountable, two old-fashioned virtues that are nearly endangered. Richard Moore, Phoenix, Arizona
Dear Richard: It’s a confusing time for many grandsons whose education stalled after high school. As the nation continues to dig its way out of the 2008 recession, decent jobs are hard to find for strapping lads with marginal skills. To many, hard work is as honorable as a higher education, and they don’t believe in accepting welfare.
But the economy won’t cooperate. Manufacturing is a memory, and brains have replaced brawn in the modern workplace. Women now make up the majority of America’s working class, and have the soft people skills best suited to occupations projected to grow, like health care and retail. What’s a young man to do?
That’s precisely what plenty of grandsons are trying to figure out. As for yours, there’s always a place for a motivated young man with a strong work ethic. In the meantime, your grandson is providing stability and security for the up-and-coming generation. What price do you put on that?
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Kathie Eshleman, of Anna, Ohio, was seated at the holiday family table when her 10-year-old granddaughter began articulating her future plans. First she announced that everyone at the table was invited to her wedding, but alcohol wouldn’t be served. “And when it’s my funeral, I want you all to be there.”
That’s when Kathie laid a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetie, I hope none of us will be there.”
Initially her granddaughter “started with the pouty face,” said Kathie, “and then realized what she had wished for.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.