It’s great when you read about old folks doing remarkable things, breaking records and such. This story is about a record-breaking grandpa, but the thing is, he’s not an old guy. Not even youngishly middle-aged. This gramps is not even 30.
What does one make of a 29-year-old grandfather?
This story from the UK’s Daily Mail is not some convoluted family tree similar to the one that gave us the fun little ditty “I’m My Own Grandpa.” This one is about a young man whose girlfriend gave birth to their daughter when they were both 15 years old. This daughter just gave birth to her first baby, Gracie, a week before mom’s 15th birthday. Gracie’s father boasts being older than the new mom. He’s 15 and a half.
This very young grandfather was stopped by hospital staff on his way to see his new grandchild. Grandpa is so young looking, the watchful nurses didn’t believe he was even 16, the age required to visit patients in the hospital without parental supervision. Imagine what they thought when he explained he was the proud granddaddy.
There is everything right with being a young-looking grandparent. There is not much right with being a mid-teen parent, even though they honorably and correctly chose life for their babies in both instances. And, yes, Mary was about that age when she had Jesus, but that was a very different day. She was already betrothed at the time, and her pregnancy was God’s doing. And God always knows what He’s doing.
The United States’ unmarried teen pregnancy rate has been declining over the past decade. England’s is skyrocketing. Whatever your spin on family values might be, it probably doesn’t include 14-year-old mothers and grandparents under 30. And it shouldn’t. People who have their babies after they graduate from high school and after they marry are very unlikely to live much of their family life in poverty. Those who do not graduate and marry before having their first child are nearly guaranteed to live in poverty. And this is not good for their children nor for the rest of society.
Twenty-nine-year-old grandfathers are fun to read about perhaps, but consider how you would feel if you were the great-grandparent in this situation, and your child and grandchild’s adulthood had an abrupt start in their teen years.
What thoughts does this story bring to your mind and heart?
About the Author
Glenn T. Stanton is the director for family formation studies at Focus on the Family. He debates and lectures extensively on the issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and parenting at universities and churches around the country. Glenn is the author of four books and a contributor to nine others. He’s a huge Bob Dylan fan, loves quirky movies, and picked out and bought the first piece of clothing for himself when he was 28. Glenn and his wife, Jacqueline, have five children and live in Colorado Springs, Colo.