They Are Squeezing My Shoes

There has been so much written about my generation that we have lots of labels in the popular press. We are the baby boomers and we are the “sandwich” generation to name the two biggies that come to mind. I like to think of it as just squeezed. And of course this economic downturn (read catastrophe) we are currently experiencing is adding to the squeeze. Police officers, at least in New York, used to have an expression that someone was “squeezing their shoes”. I have always loved this expression, I find that it perfectly captures how I feel at times. And now is one of those times. As I have written before, my father came to live with us about eight months ago and there are so many observations and subjects to talk about it is hard to know where to start. And as I have often written about, I have a teenage son now beginning his junior (read hell) year of high school in a very difficult program (and no I am not pushing him too hard). My dad is quite competent in some respects. He still balances his checkbook, no matter how long it takes. He still takes his shirts to the dry cleaner but it is a half day expedition. He has terrific difficulty with his computer, phone, tv and cable box. He is alone during the day, mostly, so he waits for me to return home for his social interaction and to tell him where the “x” went on his computer. My son, the other half of the “squeeze”, managed to do very poorly in school last year. He agrees that he can do the work, he agrees that he didn’t really try, he says he’s ready to try but doesn’t really know why he didn’t. He will require a great deal of structure, help and motivation to make it through this year. You get the idea, I am in the middle. They are squeezing my shoes. My husband is great. He is kind and helpful with my dad and does everything possible for my son. But my dad really only wants to talk to me, he gets pissed at everyone else (gets pissed at me too but not quite as much). And my husband simply isn’t good at the school thing. So he cooks comfort food that isn’t really good for me but is made with great intentions. I often wonder what I am supposed to be learning through all this. Usually one thing jumps right into my mind…patience. Apparently I didn’t have enough because I am learning more, it is greatly required. Retirement seems a very long way off.

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