When you’re young you tend to live in the moment, and don’t think too much about ageing. What with becoming engaged, getting married, having babies and holding down a job, I was so caught up in my own life that I didn’t have time to think too much about the family’s older generation. They were in their fifties, and coping well with life. We visited them every few weeks, had a pleasant day, and then went back to our own busy lives.
Fast forward thirty years, and those fifty-somethings are now in their eighties and nineties. Two of them are left. They are not coping well with life, their bodies are worn out, but they refuse to let life get the better of them and neither one would even entertain the thought of moving to a residential home. One has started calling at odd hours to tell us they have crawled to the phone because they have fallen over and can’t get up. We are on red alert for the next phone call.
Meanwhile our babies have grown and are in their late twenties and early thirties. Their own babies are coming along nicely. Our daughter-in-law is on week 39 of her second pregnancy, and has asked us to look after our grandson when she goes into labour. We are on red alert for the phone call to come out in the middle of the night and collect him, because it’s bound to be in the small hours when the new baby starts to make an entrance.
Sam is away all next week on business. Stevie hopes that both phone calls do not coincide! However, living this long I’ve discovered that in my opinion, being the filling of the sandwich generation is infinitely preferable to being the bread on either side of it. The horror of months of sleepless nights with a new screaming baby are far behind us, we’ve found out what we want out of life, there’s definitely more disposable income these days, and our bodies are not yet decayed enough to make it impossible to attend music festivals or anywhere else we want to go. Ha ha, if only time could stand still!
What’s your opinion? Do you prefer being the bread or the filling in the sandwich?