The Sandwich Generation

Posted by: on May 13, 2016 | No Comments


The Sandwich Generation

The “sandwich generation.” A term I find myself using more and more, and a topic of conversation among my peers on what seems to be a daily basis.

For many of my friends who are anywhere between 40 and 60+, we are the sandwich generation. A thinly sliced piece of humanity nicely tucked between 2 pieces of familial bread. One of those pieces of bread is our parents, both of them if you are lucky. For many of us, that means an elderly parent(s), 80 years young and up. For some, their parents are snowbirds – they split their time between their home in the north and their other home in the south. For others, they have moved on to to warmer parts permanently. For me it’s the latter and it’s my dad, who will be 92 this August.

20 years ago, he “retired” to the Jewish Virgin Islands, a.k.a. Palm Beach County. His retirement lasted a few weeks before he started going stir crazy and threatened to move back north, which was not what my mother had planned. So off he went, in search of an accounting job, where he could continue his CPA career, which he found. Within a few months, he got his Florida certification and, until very recently, went to work almost every day. His major complaint during the summer and fall is that he doesn’t have enough work to keep him busy.

On the other side of our generational sandwich is our children. For Linda and me, that’s one in California and one who just recently moved to Brooklyn, to shack up with his girlfriend and his dog. Prior to that, he had been living at home for about 2 years, after graduating from SU in May 2014. He even went so far as to redecorate his room a few weeks after moving back home, which was a definitive sign that free room and board had it’s  benefits. Now that he’s gone, I’m slowly converting his room into my home office (which will probably come as news to him).

Having an elderly parent 2-3 hours away by plane and a child 5 hours away by plane has added a whole other layer to our lives. We like to see them both as much as we can, which is a strain on us emotionally, physically and fiscally. AMEX points and frequent flier miles got chewed up pretty quickly the first couple of years that Allie was living in lala land.

For now, we do our best to go west and south as often as we can but sometimes the meat that makes up our little sandwich gets a bit too stretched . What I really need right now is a hero. Unfortunately my sandwich is more like peanut butter and jelly. A little thin, a little sticky, but in the end, even a good PB&J is better than nothing.