See my old man’s got a problem
He lives with the bottle that’s the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
I say his body’s too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did
That is of course from Tracy Chapman’s seminal 1988 song “Fast Car” (can’t believe it’s been 22 years). It came on the radio at work yesterday & that part of the song specifically got me wondering how much a parent owes their child & for how long. Not in the way we usually talk about parental responsibility in America though. Specifically, I wondered if a parent should stay with another parent who for all intents & purposes is incapacitated if leaving means that a child will bear the overwhelming majority of the burden in taking care of the other parent.
If you know me, you can probably guess that I’m very conflicted about this. I could probably make an argument for both sides. Either way someone is losing some freedom. I don’t really have much to add. This is more me thinking out loud than anything. I would really love to read your thoughts.