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When Retirement Calls You to Be a Parent—Again

(Editor’s Note: I saw this in the Wall Street Journal today and just had to share)

By Liz Peterson Weiss

I imagined retirement being many things—but not teacher conferences, appointments with pediatricians and soccer games.

At age 64, I am a member of an unconventional club: grandparents raising grandchildren. The Census Bureau estimates there are about 2.7 million people like me and my husband: grandmothers and grandfathers responsible for the basic needs of one or more children under age 18.

I never imagined myself in this role. My husband and I are college graduates; we have a nice home, money in the bank, a place in the community. But then…I never imagined that our youngest daughter would become pregnant while she was still in school, eventually divorce and decide she wasn’t capable of raising a child. That was 13 years ago. Zach, our grandson, now 16, has been with us ever since.

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Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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