Over time, even though we are separated by an easy 100 mile drive, the relationship with my sister has fallen into a far distant second place behind her relationship with her children. We get along very well when we are together but that’s the problem. I can’t remember the last time my wife and I were able to socialize with my sister and her husband as adults without having to first and foremost accommodate or make room for her kids in the process. It seems every time I stopped in for a visit, my sister wasn’t able to spend much one-on-one time with me, her only sibling. The main reason was having to satisfy the needs of her children.(teenage daughter & son) Driving them here and there, hosting/attending child related school/church/sport/music functions, etc. My sister and her husband have managed to raise two inquisitive, intelligent, talented kids, but did it come at a cost?
I have long suspected that the dynamics of family life have changed in the thirty plus years since I was a child, but not having kids of my own to raise there wasn’t any first hand experience to drawn on. Then I read John Rosemond’s weekly column in today’s Charlotte Observer, and I believe his theories lend credence to my feelings. John states that at one time marriage was primarily about the husband/wife relationship followed by the parent/child relationship. John claims parents are acting exclusively these days as mother/father and letting everything else take a back seat. Moms are now married to their kids. John goes into the details about the dangers in all this and warns what will happen in the future.
But we won’t know until these kids grow up and raise their own families. If I ever end up in a retirement home (shudder), I hope they have a “no visitor under 65” rule. Kids. Hmph.