So a judge has removed grandma Katherine Jackson, 82, as guardian of Michael Jackson's three children and granted custody to cousin TJ Jackson, 34, as rumors swirl regarding Katherine's sudden disappearance and a possible Jackson sibling plot. As a mom, my heart goes out to those kids, particularly Paris, 14, who's taken to Twitter in Katherine's defense. For her part, Katherine says she just needed a "short vacation." Which, not for nothing, is certainly plausible. She's 82 years old! Realistically, is an 82-year-old woman truly physically capable of raising three kids?
It's an important question to consider, because when it comes to writing wills and choosing guardians for our own children, many of us immediately think of our own parents. (Assuming we have decent, intact relationships with said parents.) They love their grandchildren more than anything in the world; in so many cases, our kids feel like grandma's house is their second home.
Our parents seem like the most obvious choice to step in and take care of our kids if we're not around to do the job ourselves. But ... are they really? It depends. I've known men and women in their 80s who played golf every day, mowed their own lawns, and could beat somebody half their age at a crossword puzzle. By the time my own grandmother was 82, she had no idea who any of her children or grandchildren were and couldn't wash her own hair. (It happened fast, too.)
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I'm not saying Michael Jackson made the wrong choice in appointing Katherine his children's guardian, because, lord help us, Michael Jackson was ... Michael Jackson, and he had a lot on his plate. But I feel for his kids. And not because they've been forced to grow up under intense and often mean-spirited media scrutiny (although that no doubt sucks), but simply because they lost their dad -- and now their boat is being rocked again.
Do we all risk putting our kids through the same thing when we choose our parents as guardians? Maybe.
Do you think Katherine Jackson is too old to raise Michael Jackson's kids?
Image via TMZ