Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am a mother. Or--Why I Need A Very Long Vacation.

Near the home where I babysat when I was 14 there was a house with a sign that reflected the growth and change in their family. It read:
The Thompson Household
Population 6
5 4 3
Years later I would make the mistake of telling my two older kids, who were then in their early teens, that they would always be welcome to live in our home so long as they were either in school or gainfully employed.

I want a do-over.

I had no idea what I was saying.

No. Freaking. Idea.

Number One Son lived with us until, at 18 ½, he moved across the state for college. It was a good move and we enjoyed him when he came home for Christmas, spring break and summer vacation, but I was always relieved when he went back to school and our household routine went back to normal.
The P_____ Household
Population 5
Beautiful lived here until she was 18 and we had such fun together! By ‘we’ I mean she and I did. Her dad wasn’t so much in favor of the enabling mother/daughter relationship we cultivated.

For awhile, her then boyfriend stayed with us—at first only on the weekends and then insinuating himself into our family for weeks on end . . .
The P_____ Household
Population 4
She moved out for awhile in the midst of finding her independence. He left with her. Eventually, circumstances with her roommates became intolerable so she moved back in with us. And brought him back too . . .

Within a matter of weeks, Beautiful sent the boyfriend packing and we were back to our normal little household.
The P_____ Household
Population 5
3 5
Beautiful did a lot of growing and changing that year and by the time she was 20 she moved out again. This time for good. *sniff*
The P_____ Household
Population 4
Half a year later, she learned that she and her new fiancee' were expecting a baby! Fiancee' was out to sea for awhile during the weeks leading up to the baby’s birth, leaving me with the duty of being Beautiful’s birth coach (not so much duty as privilege—yay!!!)

Awaiting the baby (uggghhh, all those sleepless nights of counting contractions . . . ) Beautiful spent a lot of time at our house. And for the first week or so after the baby was born and Baby Daddy was still away from home, Beautiful and her sweet little Lily stayed with us—three cheers for being a grammy and getting to see the baby EVERY DAY!!!
The P_____ Household
Population 3
4 + 1 tiny one
Finally, Beautiful was ready to go back to her own house (and took her baby with her : ( and Baby Daddy came home. Leaving us with
The Sad, Quiet, Lonely P_____ Household
Population whatever . . . .
Grammy Misses The Baby!!!!
And now? Now, Number One Son has graduated from college and has taken a job close to home before moving away for grad school. Why, you ask, would he live at home instead of proceeding directly to grad school????? I am asking the same question. And I’ll be damned if I can get an acceptable answer. And who in her right mind said that all this moving in and moving out of grown children was an okay thing? Someone who truly, truly did. not. know.

Not only is Number One back in the fold for the part of the week when he’s not living at his girlfriend’s house, but occasionally he brings the girlfriend here for several days in a row and I just can’t keep track anymore . . .
Oh yeah--and I almost forgot (Lord only knows how I could have almost forgotten) our dear friend Randy, who is once again picking himself up and dusting himself off, stayed with us for most of the last year. But has now moved out. To a house 2/10 of a mile away from ours. Literally. But he still visits us every. blessed. day.
The P_____ Household
Population 3 4
4 ½???
Mama had to get a job at a bustling pharmacy just to get some peace and quiet.

The moral of the story:

Be very careful what you promise people when you have not an idea in your head what all those promises really add up to or you too might find yourself working at a bustling pharmacy just so you can clear your head . . .


Jen on the Edge said...

My girls are already negotiating how long they can live with us. I told them we'd have to see what's going on when the time comes.

countrymouse said...

*Excellent* answer, Jen!

My aunt and uncle solved the problem with their two grown boys (one graduated from college and has a job in his field--the other a year away from graduating) by building a new house WITH ONE BEDROOM. Smart people : )

Cindy said...

Keeping your house small is good. Plus keep "old people" hours...go to bed early and make everyone else do so too...then be up at 7am! Young people can't stand those hours...totally messes them up! Then there's the trick of only "old people" food in the house...ya know, high fiber sugar....low salt....stuff that makes them not be able to eat at your house!
There are ways!

Whitenoise said...

I made the mistake of building a basement apartment for grandma. Now our oldest has dibs on in. Although it's self-contained- kitchen, washroom, laundry, seperate entrance, patio- I can see this being a problem ten years from now if oldest entertains...

countrymouse said...

Cindy--I'm taking detailed notes from you : )

And dear Captain--you, my friend, are sunk : ) Claim that you desperately need the cash and rent the space out to someone else before your oldest is old enough to be able to afford it?

CSY said...

Hubby and I have been guilty of moving in with either his parent or mine, with 3 kids in tow! I think the moral of the story is: Children you've given birth to (or raised if they're adopted) should go away - but the BABY stays!