Transition: All Rights Reserved
While the stories about “'On the Road'/Driving” could, no doubt, continue, we are going to leave that aspect of the Suburbo behind and Monday begin a new Chapter about another topic that is equally integral to the suburban experience.
In the meantime, and by way of transition (and, in some small way, introduction to the new Chapter), I’d like to share an observation (and sketch) that I’ve made living here in Fairfield County the last four years. It has to do with families and, particularly, the role of older Americans (read: Baby Boomers) within those families. According to the New York Times (Dec. 23, 2015): “The typical adult lives only 18 miles from his or her mother.” Now, I’m sure that sounds nice but it does, as the Times notes, blow up that old image of “Families traveling from far-flung places, returning home for the holidays.” In fact, based on their comprehensive survey: "Over the last few decades, Americans have become less mobile, and most adults . . . . do not venture far from their hometowns."
That certainly seems true around here, where I have observed quite a bit of “everyone knows everyone” (across generations) at social events, Little League games, etc. Now, I know, there’s a nice kind of “Norman Rockwell” aspect to all that. It is clearly becoming more and more common as two-family income younger parents need help from their parents regarding child-care and those same (Baby Boomer) parents may already (or very soon) need help from those same adult children as the older folks enter the “assisted living” period of their lives. Nonetheless, there is a bit of parochial limitation to all this (not to mention far too many people up in each other’s business!) and things can get to feeling a bit like scenes from Deliverance at times.
That said, my cynical reflection on all this led to quite an interesting idea that I’d like to share today, as we transition from "Driving/'On the Road'” to other aspects of life in the Suburbo. As always, I hope you find it amusing and, maybe, informative.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!