You get a call from a young mom, more likely the parent of a young mom. She has been raising her child with significant help from her parents. That help is financial, emotional and substantial. The mother and child live with grandparents, or the grandparents are with the mother and the child almost all of the time, providing childcare, driving the child here and there, coaching the team with mom—you name it.

And where is the father? You have come across guys like this before. He has some combination of mental health/substance abuse/criminal issues that keep him from playing an active role in his child’s life. He is thousands behind in child support, maybe in prison, and shows little interest in the child. As the child gets older, the contact with the father seems to become less frequent and of shorter duration. The reports you get are that the child doesn’t even remember who the father is. I don’t mean to sound sexist, but in 30-plus years I can only remember two “dead beat mom” stories. That being said, the reverse situation obviously does occur.