26 August 2011

Friday Follies...
Well, here we are, rolling into the LAST weekend of my favorite month (August), and I'm always sad to see it go.
(I like all the CAKE...LOL)
This Sunday would have been my Dad's birthday, and he would have been NINETY years old (born 1921 - the Roaring Twenties. Gotta love that).
Those of you that been been stopping by here for a while know that dad passed in 1978 (week before Valentine's Day...weird, huh?), and Mom passed in early June of 1998 (or as I like to call it Memorial-Hell week - it was rough).
And I can't help but think how much they are missed by me...every day.
We had a really tight-knit family gig going on...just the three of us.
So, I suppose it's true when they say that the STRONGER the bond, the MORE you miss someone.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
Still, you look about today, and you see so many kids being raised by MOM alone...or by some relative, such as an aunt or even the grandparents.
*** And that brings me to this story, which although I recall reading it about a week ago, JUST appeared in today's local paper (guess they ran out of stories?)...it's really worth a read.
Here's the link to the article:
Now, I remember 3 out of 4 of my grandparents (my Dad's dad passed a few months before I arrived "on scene" back in 1952), and I remember staying with Mom's folks a few weekends in my younger life...and it was fun. A pleasant "diversion" from the usual gig at home.
It was always a great place to visit, but I knew where I really wanted to live...with MY parents.
See, my folks were of that generation that felt that "your child - your responsibility", so as was the case, rather than have someone babysit me, they stayed home instead. They considered it a small sacrifice, and they were pretty much "home-bodies" as it were.
But Dad had friends like my "Uncle" Bob and "Aunt" Vi, who would stop by and take us someplace (like down the shore).
So, we never really were never needful of things to do as a family.
Then again, that was an era where you pretty much KNEW that you COULD indeed retire from the place you worked, and get a pension. You job was NOT going overseas at that time, and jobs were plentiful, as a result.
We were coming off the Korean conflict and life was doing alright by a lot of folks.
And it's the children of those SAME folks who are now grandparents in many cases.
But their role in their children's' lives has changed considerably.
They are now taking a more "hands-on" role in the upbringing of the grandchildren.
At face value, that's NOT really a "bad" thing.
I mean, the grandparents tend to have a better value system, which they are more than willing to pass on, and they have more of the old "can-do" attitude this nation use to have in much greater abundance.
For a child growing up in today's world...that's not such a bad deal.
It could actually give them MORE of a "leg-up" than the average child.
But you have to wonder WHY grandparents are raising the kids instead of the parents?
In many (urban) cases, it because of incarceration or addictions suffered by one or both parents of the children.
That's been an upwardly moving and disturbing trend over the past several decades.
Also, such problems are not the sole domain of any ONE particular race these days.
Maybe one or both of the parents are in the military and deployed overseas...with an all-volunteer military AND the inclusion of WOMEN into many combat scenarios, it's a given that some families might have to deal with this.
Now, this isn't to say that the grandparents are having the children live with them exclusively.
Let's call them the "safety-net" for the parents...doing errands, taking the kids to the doc or dentist, babysitting or back-to-school shopping.
Many baby-boomers have more disposable income than in generations past, and they do have more time available to get stuff done.
Gone are those frail, stereotypical depictions of the graying of America.
With people living longer as well, it just makes good sense that many boomers would want to remain as active as they can.
There can be a down-side to all this, however...
That's when the grandparents take the complete place OF the parents.
It's not that it's necessarily bad for the kids...it's really more of a bad reflection on the parenting abilities of those who SHOULD be taking care of and raising their own children.
I see kids being shuttled all over the place down here in the ghettohood...and it's not because a parent is overseas, or even otherwise gainfully EMPLOYED. Not in the slightest.
It's because these so-called "parents" are still basically CHILDREN themselves, and already on the government dole...paid to do nothing all day.
THEY were never brought up with the knowledge or guidance on HOW to be a parent...HOW to be a responsible person, or even HOW to take proper care of an infant, toddler or child...let alone a teenager.
Gotta go clubbing tonight?
Drop the kid off at "Grammy's place"...she's good for that.
Now THAT is not really what this article is about...they don't even touch this aspect of "grandparenting" these children.
Then again, you have fractured families and dysfunctional ones to start with, and all because some kids couldn't keep their pants zipped, or their legs shut. Now that's not brow-beating everyone in such a situation.
Hey, sh*t happens, and you man (or woman) up to what YOU need to do, in the best interest OF THE CHILD YOU HAVE.
And if you have difficulty raising just ONE child, then for Christ's sake, don't go having about FIVE more, kapeesh?
LEARN to raise a child properly first...and don't cave to every Tom, Dick, or Jermaine that comes along, dripping with suave, and smelling of AXE.
And guys, you have got to realize that when you HELP bring a new life into the damn world, you're JUST as responsible of "Mom"...it always takes TWO to tango, right? Do the right thing and educate yourself on HOW to be a FATHER, and not some "empty suit" sucking down baby-mama's money and smacking her around whenever the mood fits.
That's NOT being a man...AT ALL.
It's little wonder that grandparents are being cast as the "new" parenting gurus.
Hell, they've already been through it, made the mistakes, corrected the faults, and learned from the experience.
Can we only hope as much from the PARENTS of the children these days?
I'd like to believe so.
All of our futures depend on it.
*** Lastly today, I want to commend those along the east coast that are already bracing for hurricane Irene.
Here's a great site with real-time tracking:
Many are thinking this storm (currently a CAT-2) could whip up into a CAT-4 before it's all over, and that would out this storm on par with Katrina.
Only THIS time, precautions are already in place, and people are heeding the evac warnings.
(once bitten, twice shy, huh?)
Governor Christie (NJ) has already declared a state of emergency, with all the trappings that go with such an edict.
Sure looks like folks have a lot more "on-the-ball" than what went down along the gulf when Katrina hit.
Here's hoping any damage is minimized, and that no one gets hurt or killed as a result.
My thoughts and prayers go to all those in the path of this storm.
I trust they will have as good a week as possible, under the circumstances.
And for the rest of you:
Have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay safe out there, America.


Momma Fargo said...

Great post on family, Bob. IT's sad the family structure and dynamics have changed so much. I surely miss the June and Ward days.

Be safe and have a great weekend!

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
June & Ward did have their collective sh*t together...lol.

I do have to commend those that manage to "do more with less" when it comes to family these days.

There are SO many factors that have indeed changed the dynamics of what used to be traditional.

I'd wager that many of your radio calls can attest to that when you arrive on scene.

There are success stories even in non-traditional families these days, and Lord knows that making it all work is not easy...just required.

Hey, thanks for taking time to roll on up here today and comment.

Have a fantastic weekend.
(Tell "Bug" we say "Hi".)
And stay safe out there.

Wrexie said...

It's not easy finding yourself in a single parent roll... but I was raised to rise to any occasion, to be responsible and put others before myself. We've lost those values in our degenerative society.
It hasn't been easy to go from a stay-at-home mom to a do-it-all mom after my marriage fell apart. I had no education or job history to speak of... yet I've survived. If I can do it and make it alone... those values must be the driving force because I'm just an average mom...

Bob G. said...

The fact that you, and others such as yourself manage to do ALL that you do as a single mom says to me that there's NOTHING "average" about any of you.

Holding that responsibility (for oneself or for another) in the regard it needs to be held speaks volumes.

And thanks to caring moms like yourself...maybe this world's still got a pretty good shot at bringing back those values you mention.

Thanks for spending time here today and commenting.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe out there.

indy said...

well bob. i'm the work all night grandma that gets a few hours sleep and becomes the wide awake good grandma looking for a nap time. my daughter and granddaughter may live with me. but, the daughter is a hands on parent. no clubbing. no more kids. making sure she has to do what she has to do to prevent that. i am more of a grandma that is the safety net. but, i can see that role changing much more when my daughter gets her schooling done and into a real career. perhaps my job maynot be there forever. but, i can be a good grandma with more time on my hands. i see my daughters and i roles reversing everyday when it cames with her entering into the workforce. if i get a buyout that is very nice i even perhaps will have a paid in full home in a ok area. i am better informed this time around in house shopping. :)

Bob G. said...

Now you see?
THAT is the kind of SUCCESS story that needs to be OUT THERE...for everyone else to know.
It's not easy, but it IS rewarding.

You keep setting the tone, and things will sort themselves out.

You daughter's got a keeper with you, and as long as she passes that forward to HER daughter, that will make all the difference.

You stay strong.
And thanks for stopping by to comment.

Stay safe.