Stealing an adult child’s life: A sad arrangement

The Oscar winning movie “Still Alice” is disturbing on many fronts but what haunts me most is the possibility that Alice, a woman in in her early 50’s struggling with early onset Alzheimer’s, could steal her daughter’s youth.

Out of love and compassion, Alice’s younger daughter moves to New York from the west coast to look after her ailing mom, while the other members of the family move on with their lives, including Alice’s husband who decides to pursue his career in another city.

I had the same concern  after reading “They Left Us Everything”, a memoir by Plum Johnson about dismantling the family home after her mother’s death and through the process, coming to terms with her relationship with her mother.   Johnson looked after her parents from her early forties to her early sixties and she chronicles her growing resentment and anger during this period until her mother died at 93. Her mother, a cantankerous and self centered old soul, stole Johnson’s middle age.

What starts out as an act of love can turn into a test of endurance and I pray my children will be spared that fate. Read More

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All parents are cowards

NY Times

There is a wonderful article in today’s New York Times about the need to let go of your children, whether they’re two or twenty-two.  Michael Christie brings the issue alive by recounting his own experience with letting go, first with his mother and then with his boys, in his article “All Parents are Cowards“.

 

The bank of mom and dad: Financing your kids’ education

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It costs big bucks to provide your child with a university education. If you have more than one, it costs a small fortune. I know, as my husband and I helped our three children.

Apart from the noble goal of wanting them to value knowledge, we also wanted our kids to be able to look after themselves financially as adults; be debt free at the end of their first degree; and appreciate the cost of education. And not necessarily in that order.

So this is what we did. Read More