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penny
I'm a writer and editor with two grown children and four grands.
Interests: parenting, yoga, bicycling, novels about India, memoir writing
Recent Activity
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"O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see ourselves as ithers see us!" That's 18th Century Scottish poet Robert Burns sharing his insight that continues to hold true today. In that spirit, here are our adult children's top... Continue reading
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When I was first introduced to grandparenting I had to adjust to rules my children set for their children's snacks at my house. One family did not want their toddler to eat certain sweets; the other forbade individual portions of... Continue reading
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It's a trend that's grounded in fiscal reality. Our kids--twenty-somethings and 30s--are living with us, nearly 25 percent of them, according to several surveys. The surveys also find that they've moved into their childhood bedrooms for monetary reasons. Although many... Continue reading
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Long-time readers know how I've ranted about an important part of the legacy we leave our children. That is, besides the assets and the sense of our values we leave our children, we should clean out the mess of papers... Continue reading
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All families have their holiday traditions. For those of us who plan for a full family get-together over an extravagant holiday feast, there may be a surprise in store when our grown kids head for home. They may bring a... Continue reading
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I do not have the complication in my life of a second marriage and stepchildren. That means my adult children do not have to worry about whether step brothers or sisters will complicate the inheritance of the worldly goods their... Continue reading
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Jhumpa Lahiri tells us how a father (the narrator of her short story "P's Parties") misses his son, a son described by the father as "a grown man, a college graduate, a few months into his new life abroad, pursuing... Continue reading
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We've all heard about the midlife crisis and how, midway through our lives, we question ourselves about the road we've taken, whether this is all there is to life and other existential questions. It's a period of transition where we... Continue reading
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I came across a post from the past. It's nearly 10 years old but it's about one aspect of our legacy that may surpass all of them. As a reminder, the three parts of our legacy, as I see it,... Continue reading
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In an interview with Laurence Steinberg, NPR reporter A Martinez asked the psychology professor about challenges we parents face in dealing with our 20-something adult children--children who should be more independent than they are or than we were at their... Continue reading
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Nine out of ten of our adult children think we the parents ought to discuss our finances with them. We the parents think so too--to a slightly lesser degree of 3 out of 4 of us. And yet, the 40/70... Continue reading
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The college dropoff (freshman year version in particular) is a rite of passage as tearful as sending our firstborn to kindergarten and laden with plenty of meaning. Our kids are transitioning from the cosseted safety of home to the independence... Continue reading
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Something there is about a son or daughter's wedding that can multiply problems rather than joys. A lot of the issues for us as parents--besides whether we're going to foot the bill--is what can be called, for lack of a... Continue reading
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Whether it's their weight (too heavy, too thin), a tat, the breakout color of their hair, their clothing choices--whatever--we are unwise to say anything about our adult child's appearance. The following observation from Philip Galanes, he of Social Qs, started... Continue reading
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This is a post I wrote several years ago. It's my simple guide to right-sizing or downsizing or just cleaning and clearing out closets that are jammed too full of stuff. My motivation for clearing my closets (and attic storage)... Continue reading
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Our adorable children. Sometimes it's hard to realize they're adults now. They may not be quite as cuddly as they were when they were three years old but more to the point, they probably don't want us hovering over them... Continue reading
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"If it isn't one thing--it's another! It's always something.” Thus spake Gilda Radnor (SNL circa 1970s) as Roseanna Roseanadana. I think of that line now as summer vacations loom. Some of us may loll on beaches or travel the country... Continue reading
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A few weeks ago I posted a blog about a relatively new trend: Our adult children--college graduates and/or employed adults in their 20s--have been moving back home and staying there for longer than, say, we would have at their age.... Continue reading
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In an essay for the Washington Post's Parenting column (The graduation speech we should be giving to parents), author Mary Laura Philpott puts into perspective what lies ahead for soon-to-be empty nesters. The exact circumstances have been different for all... Continue reading
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Our adult children are worried about us. Not necessarily about our health and well-being. It's more a generation vs generation thing and the fear that the aging population (that's us) might doom their economic future. That is, we'll drain the... Continue reading
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I remember it well: The thrill of graduating from college, getting my first "career" job and, highlight of highlights, moving out of my parent's house in the suburbs and into a one-bedroom apartment in The City with my best friend... Continue reading
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We've all heard of the sandwich generation--the one where we're on the hook for caring for our aged parents and our young children. What with many of us living longer and the needs of our adult children changing, there are... Continue reading
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We are a generation that wants to--especially if we have the wherewithal to--help our kids out financially. Whether it's a gift to assist with the downpayment on their first house or money to pay health insurance premiums, we're often very... Continue reading
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As parents we worried, watched and weaned our children through their various stages of growing up: from wee babies to toddlers to teens and beyond. Now our kids are having kids and as grandparents we're experiencing those stages but in... Continue reading
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It's the irritant that won't go away: A good number of readers--of my blog and of advice columns--have vented deep anger about not being thanked for presents they send. Some have considered calling a halt to the gift-giving or, in... Continue reading