All-in-the-Family Perks

Seniors living with their children and grandchildren is something I never experienced, but it’s an alternative to moving older family members into an assisted living facility. The question, though, is whether it’s a good alternative.

My husband had a glimpse of that life through his two friends, Bobby and Flynn, each of whom had grandparents living with them.

“How did the grandparents spend their time?” I asked.

“They watched soaps on TV, smoked cigarettes….”

“Didn’t your friends do things with their grandparents?”

George recalled that he and Flynn often took Flynn’s grandmother, Emma, to the store.

“To get groceries?”

“No,” he said. “To buy beer.”

“Beer?” It took a few seconds before I understood and my jaw dropped. “She bought beer for you and Flynn because you were underage!”

“We paid for it,” George offered as justification, but with a smile at my shocked reaction. “And we always bought a six-pack for her.”

Turns out, Emma had a taste for Old Milwaukee and kept a supply stashed under her four-poster bed.

That was an aspect of teen-grandparent cohabitation I hadn’t considered—and one that made me wonder if it wasn’t best to keep the generations separate after all.

If I ever move in with one of my children, I don’t plan to let my grandkids use me to buy things they can’t legally buy on their own. Unless, of course, the subterfuge is necessary to keep myself supplied with dark chocolate.

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