There Was a Time…

My dad gave my husband some advice when we were newly married. He said that we should buy a one bedroom house. When we had a child, add a second bedroom, when we had another child, add another bedroom….and so on. When one child grows up and moves, tear down the bedroom…and–well, you can guess the rest. My dad was a smart feller.

Did you know, that 2 out of 3 children will boomerang back home? Yes! It’s true! A statistic I made up, and happens to be a subject I’m rather familiar with.

Just as you have finally finished crying yourself to sleep every night, and learned that they will survive without you and all will be fine…

Just as you started accepting that this is life—you did your part, now it’s time for them to show you their flying skills, and how much attention they were paying to your guidance….

Just as you adjusted to a new normal…

They will return.

With newly acquired, undesirable habits. Routines requiring another change in your new routine. The routine will never be as it was when they were children or teens, it becomes one in which you are merelyย anย observer. Flashbacks will float through your mind of little child faces—oh, how they’ve grown.

Yes, they will return, with all the crappy 20-something year old furniture you thought you’d seen the last of, and no place to store it.

They will do their laundry, but leave a load in the dryer and one in the washer. In order to do your laundry, you must finish theirs? Um. No.

You will find dishes begin to dwindle until you have one fork and a bowl left in the kitchen. They were taught to eat at the table, and that dishes stayed in the kitchen. Apparently, those are the first rules broken when they first move out on their own.

Noses will return, and continue to be turned up at dinnertime over the food they don’t care for. The dinner you so kindly prepared for them. Food! That they don’t have to prepare!

They will cook for themselves, but it may be at 3 am. The smells of their concoctions wafting through your dreams, waking you up to wonder if the house is on fire.

They have decided to go organic, which requires over an hour drive–round trip–to purchase the “right” organics. A trip that is expected of you. Instead, you shop at the local grocer and they become food critics over your choices–your bad, unhealthy choices.

Did you know there is only “one” perfect rice? Yes, it’s obtained from a Korean market even further from your house. The Minute Rice is no longer fit for human consumption. Even changing to the brown rice the local grocer has to offer, is something to sniff a nose at. I do have to admit that I like their rice better, but it isn’t worth the cost in gasoline or my level of anxiety to drive to the city.

The massive pile of shoes will build up at the front door again.

With friends and girlfriends, musical cars will become a daily dance in the driveway.

But you will be happy.

They will be home and safe.

You will love them.

And you will anxiously await the moment they declare their independence once more.


About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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19 Responses to There Was a Time…

  1. mewhoami says:

    This does seem to happen often, doesn’t it? I think your statistics are probably pretty accurate. Plus, some kids don’t even bother to move out at all until they’re well into their 20’s or 30’s. I suppose if they have a plan to move back out at some point, it may make the 3am cookouts easier to handle. But until then, I guess all a person can do is smile (even if sometimes forced) and love them anyway.

    • April says:

      I do love them, and I do love that they are here. I would love to have them here forever. However, one–the one who has been out on his own the longest, is the biggest rule breaker.

  2. Indeed, there are likely a number of empty nesters out there who love to have your challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing I have seen and heard from many who are experiencing just what you and your husband are, is that it helps to have rules and boundaries re-established for offsoring returning to the nest. They’re adults now and ought to be willing to contribute to a different, collaborate living style. Two cents, unsolicited. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • April says:

      I enjoy your two cents. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, new boundaries and “rules” have been established. However, it’s hard to nag a 25-year-old. Weekly reminders are getting old. I have resorted to guilt to prompt some results–it failed. Heart-to-heart talks–failed. I’m counting….he is moving out soon.

      • April says:

        But the younger one? He has mostly always followed the rules. He took out the garbage without having to be asked. I’m hoping he will respect the new arrangement. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Elouise says:

    I’m so grateful mine aren’t in this coming-home generation. I can’t even imagine it. And yes, the bottom line–almost!–is home, safe and loved. Independence is pretty good, too, though. Then they get to leave with a bunch of new ‘would you believe my Mom’ stories!

    • April says:

      Our day will come when they will stand proud. The oldest graduated from college after a 5 1/2 year stint. It took him over 6 months to find a job. It wasn’t due to the economy, it was due to his efforts. However, he has a job now, and we are counting down the days. The youngest is still in college. Since he has chosen to go to a local college, the relief to our wallet has been great.

  4. suzjones says:

    I don’t envy you at all. My son was reminding me the other day of the times he used to do his washing and leave it in the machine because he knew we would hang it out. Until we wisened up to this practice and then began putting it in a clothes basket and leaving it in his bedroom – wet!! He got the message after a while. lol

  5. tric says:

    Haha I can so identify with this. Brilliant

  6. That summed up that process very well! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Gallivanta says:

    And thus it is. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. So well said! This made me laugh out loud and yet I was so touched as a Mom. Your writing is often like that and I love it – deep, serious, AND humorous! Excellent post that makes me think about the future…

    • April says:

      I love, love, love my kids, but I seriously, they need to learn how to survive like their dad and I did. My parents moved around a lot, so I could never return to the family home. I’m wondering if that was my dad’s intention, now that I think of it. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Oh, and thanks for the compliment.

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