(From Karen Trosset, TODAY Producer)
People always ask me the same question about my job. "You must meet a lot of celebrities, who is the coolest person you've ever met?"
Bruce Springsteen...let's just say I get why he's a legend.
Elizabeth Taylor...shockingly, she cursed like a truck driver.
Henry Kissinger? He pointed his finger at my chest and warned "don't edit this to make it sound like I am sympathetic to the Bosnians, I know where to find you" ...I was right out of college, feeling smart in my shoulder padded purple suit and my permed hair held in place by a big white lace hair bow; a look inspired by a woman we now call Madge.
It's true, I have some great stories about celebrities and politicians but they're not close to being my favorite.
I liked the family I met in Virginia a few weeks ago.
I wanted to move in. It was a young couple with two kids that talked to me about infertility and adoption for Meredith's "I Want a Baby" series airing this week. They are an adorable family and their story was very inspiring, but what struck me most about them is that Grandma and Grandpa live with them! When was the last time you saw that? WATCH VIDEO
All I could think was...good night, John Boy. Good night, Mary Ellen. Good night, Grandpa. Good night, Erin.
(**For those of you born after 1990, there was a show called "The Walton's" in the 70's. Quaint. Cute. Grandparents in residence.)
Anyway, this Virginia family all got along so well. Throughout the interview Grandpa took care of the dog, Grandma took care of the kids. The kids loved them, they loved the kids...and the dog. Some have suggested it "takes a village" maybe it just takes an extended family. How come we see this so seldom in this country? How come Grandma and Grandpa pack up and head to Florida to become a 6 and 6, or an 8 and 4?
Or get shipped off to a nursing home?
When did our appreciation of wise old folks get thrown out with the bath water?
One would think there would be plenty of room in the McMansions that have sprung up all over this country, and yes, you Baby Boomers, have you thought about where you're headed? It's not so far away. Just think, there's a practical solution in this too. Wouldn't stay at home grandparents prove a potent solution to today's latch key kids?
Call me naive, but I loved it! So, I share this story with my coworker and friend, Scott (name has been changed to protect the innocent...and to prevent the pocketbook slammed to the head). He is an editor extraordinaire. I value his opinion immensely. Smart guy. Funny guy. He says, though he loves his grandparents immensely, that it's a tremendously bad idea.
He says his grandparents would complain about the noise. The heat. The cold. Hijack the TV for marathon viewing sessions of Golden Girls....or worse, Matlock. Discuss the price of lettuce. Get even more confused by the information superhighway than they are with their local highway which (shocker!) just got a second lane.
He thinks it just wouldn't work.
What do you think? I say it's possible. Cultural norms change in this country. All you need is a cute slogan and a big campaign with Sheryl Crowe attached to it. We have..Just say no to drugs. Friends don't let friends drive drunk and now..."Just Keep Grandma."
In fact, if you don't want Grandma, send her my way. I don't have any living grandparents. I'll take her in. I am happy to discuss lettuce. Everyone knows iceberg's a joke.
Good night, John boy. Good night, Maryellen.
Good night, Scott.
Good night, Sheryl.