When a Working Grandma Can’t Afford to Babysit, a Tradition Ends

KJ Dell'Antonia

KJ Dell’Antonia

My mother trudged down the stairs of her Staten Island townhouse this past Christmas Day, head slumped down, Eeyore-style. Even with my inherited poor eyesight, I could see from her modest kitchen table that the lenses on her dark, plastic glasses, a pair only a hip 57-year-old could pull off, were fogged up.

“I ran the numbers,” she said, her voice quavering as she sat down beside me. Then, she slipped me a piece of notepad paper scrawled with digits, her calligraphy-neat handwriting reduced to sad and sloppy financial realizations. “I can’t afford to watch the baby.”

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