Looking at Little Ones

Christmas brought the extended family together – along with the great nieces and nephews. Some of the WP blogs I follow spoke of grand children. It brought home the issue that Sparky was musing on – our lack of grandchildren. Sparky and I are not grandparents. At this point in time it doesn’t look like we ever will be. And all our closest friends are in the same boat. It made me think. None of my sisters is a grandparent. Of Sparky’s 5 siblings only one is a grandparent. That is a total of 16 nieces/nephews and only 4 have children! Statistically speaking only 25% of the Gen X group in our families have reproduced… There have been lots of people who have theories as to why Gen X has failed to date, mate, and procreate. Some posit that the males have become addicted to pornography and there are no flesh and blood women that can compete with the idealized version in glossy magazines or on the computer screen. One theory is that Gen X is so self-centered that they are unwilling to share their lives with anyone. Another theory is that they are so driven in their pursuit of success/wealth/status that they have no time for personal relationships. An article pinned the blame on economic factors. It observed that they were financially unprepared to support themselves let alone another. Another journal (psychology) took the view that women ranked potential mates/spouses based on earning power before physical characteristics and placed more weight on their monetary worth than their personalities.

Although all these may play a part, I don’t think there is any one overall cause. Case in point, my sons are shy. They are, when with family, engaging with quick wits. They are kind, generous, thoughtful, and helpful. But when they are in social situations out of their comfort zones they become quiet, withdrawn, and unable to hold an intelligent conversation. Granted they have made strides toward being more social. Son #1 becomes loquacious when he consumes a couple of beers. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean he is talking to females. Son #2 is more at ease with the fairer sex but is likewise not actively dating. The fact that they are not in high earning jobs (a musician will never be filthy rich – at least not a violist) doesn’t help.

I broached the subject with son#2 the other day. He told me his horror story. He had been texting a woman from a dating app. They agreed to meet for coffee. Taken that son#2 doesn’t drink coffee I can assume that it was the location and informal atmosphere that was the deciding factor. I had never heard the term “an Irish exit” before. The definition of the Irish exit means to depart from any event without telling any anyone, basically sneaking away. I was appalled. What would make my wonderful and polite son do something so awful? I guess after the beverages had been purchased and they were chatting, the young woman was recounting all the things she liked to do for fun. They had some things in common but when she dropped the bomb he took off. “Oh, and I like to occasionally smoke a little crack…” This of course was inserted in the middle of the list. He listened smiling and nodding as his mind went into panic mode. He excused himself to the bathroom and left.

With all the online dating it becomes all too easy to fabricate an identity or gloss over your personal foibles and flaws. The idea that you can find someone online is much rarer than they want you to believe. Couple that with the swipe left effect of most dating apps and there really aren’t any prospects. On a high note son#2’s coworkers think he is a catch and are actively trying to line up some likely prospects from their circle of friends and family. Son#1 is likewise on his Aunt’s radar and she has sent him the email of a young woman she works with… we are crossing our fingers and at the same time not getting our hopes up. *sigh*

32 thoughts on “Looking at Little Ones

  1. My youngest son is also “socially awkward.” He’s 36 and single, but not for lack of trying. He has a good job, and lots of friends. I don’t need any more grandchildren, but I would like for him to find a wife. My husband and I were both 20 when we married. Too young to have any fears or worries about the future. On the other hand I’d rather he be single than end up married and unhappy, or even divorced, especially if there would be children involved. A broken family is so hard on kids. So I just try to keep trusting God for his future.

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  2. In our case the financial aspect has held us back. We wanted to bs financially secure before bring a child in this world. In the next year or so when we have the truck loan paid down to a low level we will start trying. Wrangler’s best friend is looking for a relationship. A lot of the problems of dating today are the woman. They seem either to hold out for the rich like you said or the meth dealers from his experience. They also have multiple children by 25 in his experience.

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    1. Yep. Financial stability is a huge factor in the decision to start a family… And the problem of children from a former relationship is a deal breaker for son#1. He at least is honest in saying that he just doesn’t want to deal with the ex and the problems that go with being the 3rd parent.

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  3. some cant procreate and some don’t want children anyway … they will find resolutions in their own way and time!

    Irish exit sounds smart after dropping that one. I had a younger friend trying the online dating thing and was mismatched everytime. So I asked to see her profile. It was total bs, nothing true but what she thought men might want to hear. I asked if I could rewrite her profile and wrote a far more accurate one! She was inundated with far better fitting responses, it pays to be honest!

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    1. Ha! And that is the major problem with the profiles. Son#1 was matched with a woman who took one look at his car and noped out of the date. Sad but some people are very materialistic. I hope your friend is successful…

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    1. I hope they find a mate that makes them feel loved and someone to grow old with… I’m sure there are even more reasons that they have failed to connect with “the one”. I’ve got my fingers crossed!

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  4. My Irish friends seem to be like your sons: reserved, conservative, and discerning. In fact, there’s a town in Ireland, Lisdoonvarna, known for its festival held with the sole purpose of getting those retiring Irish bachelors hooked up with a mate. Perhaps your sons should make a trip across the pond to find a nice Irish lass. Don’t lose hope, my friend’s sons (and brother) all found lovely women eventually and started families after they were 30.

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    1. Thanks! I hope I did right by them. Son#2 still credits me with “making a deal” with him that set him on the path for music. (I told him he could quit violin lessons when he completed book 8). He managed to get to book 10 and by then had tossed the idea of giving up music – it became his passion. He has thanked me several times for not letting him quit. I’m sure things will work out one way or another.

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  5. I do think it is harder for young people to meet their significant other these days. On the upside, they are also getting married and having children at much older ages than we did, so there is always hope. My son and his wife are expecting their first child, and my son is going to be 31, and his wife 32 when their baby arrives. My sister got married when she was 35, and although she doesn’t have any biological children, she does have step children, grandchildren and even a great-grandchild. Things are different now, but still okay. Don’t give up on grandchildren yet!

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    1. I do think that being more mature when raising children gives the parents a little edge – since they know themselves better than 16 – 18 year olds do! On the down side my SIL had her children late (36-37) and her husband was already a grandfather. It is very fortunate that they are both in good health as the kids are going into HS… The teen years are tough on parents! I’m hoping that they each find that special someone. As for now I’m working on being the “favorite aunt” and “favorite great aunt”!

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  6. I have four grown up girls and while women their age were already dating, my girls arent. My eldest is basically more than enough qualified to date if the basis is age and academic requirement as she is finishing her Masters Degree, but why?…well she would simply say, she is yet to find a man who will acknowledge her intelligence, her passion and her ambitions…i honestly don’t know what that means but it is with great hope that they find better partners in time.

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  7. I agree that is is combo of things..but being self centered and financial issues seem to be the top two. More and more families like mine.. 2 families living in one home…which brings issues of it’s own.

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    1. Yes. There are lots of people in the same boat as you. But in times past that was the way it was… And the influence of grandparents on the children is huge. The extended family under one roof made for emotional security for the kids and made sure everyone was taken care of!

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  8. It’ll happen when it happens. If my son had executed an Irish exit, when confronted with an “occasional crack smoker”, I’d have been quite relieved-and proud of him, rudeness aside. As it happens, Millennials are prone to marrying between age 25-35. He was 31, when he married Yunhee. Gen Z is even more adamant-kids as young as 19 are now getting married, with surety. Gen X may just be the Autumn Couples.

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    1. True. I’m just glad there aren’t any surprise grandchildren out there that I am unaware of… I just don’t want them to be alone. As you know good partners brings out the best in each other. That’s what I hope for each of them.

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