I have been lucky to get some help with my daughter from my grandmother and grandfather recently. I saw them enjoying their great granddaughter's company so much. For the first time my granny was not eager to see every new exhibition in the city and spend every weekend traveling. And I do not think that American grandparents are much different. Think of the "brag-books" they carry around or their excitement about the holidays when they get to see the little ones... So why do so very few of them help raising their grandchildren? Sometimes it is the distance or difficult relations with children-in-law. However, the main reason is that they have been convinced that this is not the right way to enjoy their retirement. They should be traveling, playing golf, and then spending the rest of their savings on services of assisted living facilities and then retirement homes. In the meantime their children are spending a good chunk of their income on childcare. What a fabulous way to put money into the economy and create jobs! Someone pretty smart must have thought of breaking away with the tradition of grandparents helping with grandchildren and children looking after their parents when they grow old. And then it was just a matter of a good campaign to promote the new arrangement in the popular culture. Hello American gray gold! When did you last see a commercial where a happy grandparent was taking an active part in their grandchildren's life? No, God forbid. What you might have seen is "Everybody loves Ray" or something of this sort where nosy grandparents interfere with their children's lives and give a random hug to their grandchildren. Everybody is much better on their own. How practical, how lovely! But I am afraid that we are losing something very precious at the same time.