Thursday, April 1, 2010

Multi-Generational Families Sharing a Home

There's just something about a grandmother's love.
When I was a little girl I remember both my grandmothers taking turns living with us. (I never knew my grandpas because they both died before I was born.) One would come in the summer for a nice long visit. The other came and stayed for a couple of years, as I remember. My mom's mother passed away when I was just 4-years-old. She was the one who stayed for a couple of years. My dads mom passed away when I was eighteen. I don't remember much about my one grandmother, except that she shared a room with my brother. The grandmother I do remember was quite a character! She was the only person who could truly stand up to my dad and get away with it. We kids adored her! Her name was Maude and here's what I remember about her............once when I was 10-years-old our whole family rented a cabin at Morro Bay for two long weeks. One day a bee was buzzing in the windowsill and my brother and sister and I called for grandma to get it. We meant remove it. She walked right up to it and smashed it against the glass with her thumb. We were amazed and silent. We'd never seen anything like it, and she didn't even get stung!. Another time I was sick with the flu and as I was getting better had to stay indoors and rest. That is such a hard thing for a little kid. My grandma brought some yarn and knitting needles to the couch and sat down by me and taught me to knit. I've been thinking about the pleasure of sharing my childhood with my grandmothers ever since I read an article talking about the rise of multi-generation families living under one roof. As a result of the economy this shift in family living is happening again -just like it did during the Great Depression of the 1930's. According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, there are more than 4 million multigenerational families nationwide.There are many benefits to doing this besides financial ones. Children learn to interact with grandparents; they learn to respect and honor age; grandparents have a safe environment to live in; parents have extra childcare when needed. I think it is a wonderful thing. As people continue to make hard choices like downsizing or bringing parents and grandparents in to share the home, research is revealing that families are growing closer and people are appreciating the things money cannot buy.

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