Tags: Baby | Boomer | Reality

Baby Boomer Reality

Friday, 10 December 2004 12:00 AM

But not before my son gets a hold of me The dog ran out when the trick-or-treaters rang the bell and got hit by the next-door neighbor in her big car. Hershey has gone for surgery. It will be months of recovery. Judy is OK. His sister was mean to him. His costume was lousy. I'm not home for Halloween.

So what if it's the Sunday before Election Day, and I have to work? He is 11. My mother is calling on the line. He doesn't care, he wants my attention. So does she. It is pouring in Times Square. My sister is trying to get through to find out why my brother and I are fighting. A lot of crazy people are dressed up for Halloween. At this time, I actually think John Kerry will win, and I'm still depressed.

Baby boomers were calling ourselves "the squeezed generation" 10 years ago.

We didn't know nothing then.

The squeeze had barely begun. Say hello to parents who have outlived their retirement homes and have moved back north, bringing the stress with them and dumping it right in our laps, along with depleted retirement accounts and childish tempers.

They take hundreds of dollars worth of pills a day. And they work - the pills, that is. No chemotherapy, my mother tells my sister. You don't have cancer, mom. My sister did. No heart disease, either. That's my brother.

She owns a condo in Florida she hasn't set foot in for years that she refuses to sell. As soon as she heard I was paying for home health care, she upped it from two days a week to five and told my accountant to Fed-Ex her cash every week, so she has spending money.

Meanwhile, another new book has come out telling working mothers that our children will grow up to be obese drug addicts if we leave them in daycare. Ouch. A big serving of guilt for Thanksgiving.

The reason I like computers, my whiz kid son tells me, is because you're always working. And I thought you liked them because they captured your imagination.

Not working is simply not an option for most mothers of children who hope to attend college someday, let alone those of us whose mothers tend to fall. By the time my kids start college, private universities will be well over $50,000 a year - some of them already are, or close.

Granted, the dollar was worth less, but I went to college and law school, at Wellesley and Harvard, for less than that (and I still needed scholarships and loans). The idea that women choose to work because it's more fun to go to the office than do carpool is a slice of life of the very elite (in most cases, it isn't).

As for the idea that daycare spoils children, the reality, of course, is what matters is what kind of daycare you have. We need better quality choices for young children, as for senior citizens, or those of us in the middle may find the squeeze just gets worse - that we keep getting older, with no relief in sight.

COPYRIGHT 2004 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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But not before my son gets a hold of me The dog ran out when the trick-or-treaters rang the bell and got hit by the next-door neighbor in her big car. Hershey has gone for surgery. It will be months of recovery. Judy is OK. His sister was mean to him. His costume was lousy....
Baby,Boomer,Reality
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2004-00-10
Friday, 10 December 2004 12:00 AM
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