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Children and elderly – the two generations that can get away with murder. Well, not really, but you get the idea. Children are surely the young, innocent and curious beings, who are simply exploring the world around them, which is almost always impossible to do without breaking that expensive glass vase and spilling that glass of milk on the newly dry-cleaned sofa. I mean, obviously. And the elderly are the slightly slow, slightly forgetful, yet extremely wise beings who have seen much more of the world than anyone else in the family, so they are rightfully presumed to know it all and know it only too well. Both the incoming and the outgoing young generations are charming in their own right and largely make up for most of the entertainment of the house. So, where does that leave the middle generation?
The middle generation of the age group ranging from mid-twenties to late fifties is very much like the slice of cheese, perched on the inside of a very delectable Monte Cristo sandwich getting ready to be grilled on the toaster. The cheese takes up a lot of heat from both ends, takes the pressure from the top and the resistance from the bottom and even melts to keep the whole darned sandwich together! Could I have found a better analogy? I think not. After all, this perfectly describes the predicament of the generation that struggles with running the rat ultra-marathon (yes, race no longer cuts it), struggles with parenting and struggles with building a sound base for the future, while also trying to strike things off their own bucket lists! It is the generation that worries the most for the other two generations and tries to base every action of theirs on the idea of making life secure for everyone in the family. Yet, it is this generation that usually takes the most brickbats at home.
The children usually find comfort in the older generation, who are a 100 times more forgiving of their mistakes than their own parents. Most grand parents I know say that they were too preoccupied in their younger lives to have enjoyed their own kids’ childhood, so they are super indulgent with their grandchildren. Similarly, the older generation too finds a friend in the grandchildren, who are forever ready with their smiles, hugs and entertaining mischief. In the midst of such fun, the overly stressed out, always-on-the-office-call, forever-staring-at-their-laptop parents do sound like a killjoy, don’t they?
But fret not. The middle generation too can redeem its position. After all, it is that indispensable cheddar, without which the sandwich loses its texture and taste. Simply taking out time to be there, physically and emotionally, for the young and the old and explaining the intention behind your tough calls can help build lasting bonds with all in the family. Remember, smiles go a long way and sometimes, balancing gentleness with firmness is all it takes to get the point across to people of all generations. Being tactful when needed, careful most of the times and carefree every now and then is the best policy. Keep at it!
Display picture courtesy pixabay.com