Local grandparents unite to share the joys and challenges of raising their children’s children
Debbie and her grandson Ryan share a fun moment with Connie and her grandson Michael.
For some, retirement to Florida fulfilled a dream. For others, becoming empty nesters was liberating and exhilarating. And for most, grandparenthood was meant to be a time to spoil their grandchildren, enjoy them for a day, an evening or a weekend and then return them to
But for many couples and singles in their 50s, 60s and 70s — in the nation and in Vero Beach — this aspiration is short-lived or never fulfilled. Their children’s addiction to alcohol, opioids or other drugs; mental illness; incarceration; unprepared-for pregnancy or just plain immaturity necessitated their stepping back into a role they assumed they had left for good.
They are grandparents raising their grandchildren, and it changes everything.
After their own children left home, they got used to having more freedom to pursue their own hobbies, to renew their love affair with their spouse and enjoy fewer, or more self-oriented, financial responsibilities. But, rather than joining a golf club, taking a cruise or embarking on a leisurely cross-country trip in an RV, these grandparents are paying for braces.