If your child wants to move back home…
“Ask, will it have it’s advantages? Yes. Will they outweigh the disadvantages…?” (Quote from my spouse)
My husband and I became empty nesters around six months ago. We totally downsized our lives. Yes, we went from a 2500 sq ft., three story home, high taxes, higher prices to a one floor home under 975 sq ft. We were lucky in the recession/depression: we had enough money to pay off every credit card and put a down payment on the smaller home.
I had to stop working for a time. I had spinal fusion at the same time my son was moving away. I soon discovered that the joy of downsizing one’s life is priceless. I was grateful day after day after day for solitude, sanctuary, and a good cup of joe.
My son Eugene is all grown up. He is 21. He is about to receive his degree from in History. He also realizes how life has many responsibilities to it tied to the almighty dollar. He holds a part-time job, has a car payment, has an apartment… but we discovered not for long. Because of our shaky economy, my very independent son (or so I thought!) may have to move back home with mom and stepdad…yes, I welcome him with open arms, don’t I?
No, I don’t,
And that surprised me.
It was time for Eugene, the best thing that ever happened to me, to get out and stay out! He was 21 now. He had a full life.
We had a much, much smaller home. If we should have an argument – er, disagreement, how would we all just git along?
Eugene is about six months away from his degree in History. He needs to FINISH that degree, damnit it all! Could we not interrupt our newly formed delicate stressor-free balance just a little bit longer until he graduates…?…Then finds the right job…? Then a place of his own? And then? And then?
What about now? Why should we disrupt this balance we have now cultivated? After all, working on less stress in our down-sized, keep it simple lives may be the closest we ever get to retirement. Yes, we’ll have to work until we die, but what the hell, we have an independent living house to come home to! Sit-in shower, ramps, no stairs…it’s all good. Small. Quiet. I can watch “Matlock” on WGN America in peace…
But what about my son?
I was going over the pros and cons with my husband: Yes, I love Eugene! Oh, I love Atlas the Dog! I want Eug and the band to practice in the garage – but I would rather give him $1000.00 or darn close to it so we both keep our newly-found independence. And I’d find the cash: eBay – Craig’sList, hell, sell my engagement ring (did I SAY THAT? -but Tuition is paid for!)
So, if this is a declaration, fellow parents, what would you do?
by Abbe Buck
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Photo graciously provided by Marco Abis , through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved