With Barack Obama officially sworn in as the forty-fourth president of the United States, it’s time to recognize another first: a multigenerational family in the White House. First Granny Marian Robinson has taken up residence with the Obamas to do what she’s done for years — help take care of Sasha and Malia.
Obama recently called Michelle Obama’s 71-year-old mother an “unsung hero” of the campaign, saying in an interview with ABC News, “We couldn’t have done it without her. ‘Cause she retired, looked after the girls, gave Michelle confidence that somebody was gonna be there when Michelle was on the road.”
What will life in the White House be like with First Granny? Theories abound, with much fussing over Robinson’s no-nonsense, straight-talkin’ ways, though frankly, some of these suggestions border on caricature. This isn’t the Cosby Show, people.
Still, whatever people’s expectations may be, the multigenerational First Family is a departure from the way most people live in the US: in small, nuclear families, separated, sometimes by significant distances, from other relatives. In China, by contrast, multigenerational households were the norm until about ten years ago.
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