I agree, we need to blow up nuclear families and many things that came from America and the 20th century world. But blowing this up is a really big project but also time critical. We need to educate people on the options, plan, and carefully test ways of doing this but that is, unfortunately, totally alien to the modern way of life. And we have totally screwed our planet so we have no time.

Raising kids in the extreme American family causes too much pressure on friends. The whole issue of trying to blend these things caused me to move to Hawaii fifty years ago because of my experience in the US Imperial military. There were good and bad things in the experience but the good part came from Thailand, Laos, and Japan. Hawaii was an isolated hybrid society with a university teaching about the other world.

But with a Japanese wife and only friends, almost all ex-military, we built families and became local. But with only friends I realized that it was not a good way to do this at all and major problems, medical, accidents, etc. could crush you and your kids in with no one to turn to. But we made it.

Because of that and the loss of my wife to cancer I was left seriously pushing my kids to independence in the American way. That was making things worse for everyone. After marrying again and blending two mostly adult children into a new family we set about providing the support we both had not had in our first marriages with children. We had a son, his wife and soon three grandchildren living ten minutes away.

The picture of the great grandpa chasing the pig was nice. We spent twenty years helping to raise three of our grandchildren and that was family. My wife retired early (we could afford it) so sick grandkids were a common thing at home, while grandpa’s delivery service moved different grandkids to respective soccer fields, friends houses, and school events when their parents had to work. Discreet purchases of desired goodies was a thing that grandpa and grandma could be counted on to provide along with sensitive conversations as rehearsals for the parental event.

Fortunately Hawaii is more Asian that American so it is possible here and once you have spent years providing your part of a multigenerational family there is no going back. The American way had its good points and those can be maintained, but the nuclear family part with no communal ownership and no sharing is a disaster.

The best memory of that larger family was our youngest granddaughter here who, at the age of three, told us one night when she was sleeping over that while she was our granddaughter she could be our daughter, too. She was a little vague on the relationships but it worked both ways for her. That was a present that started out valuable and became priceless over time as we did not have children of our own. That would not have ever happened in a nuclear family.

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Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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