The Missing Chapter in my “Moms of Millennials” Manual

Where in the Moms of Millennials manual is the chapter, “Your college senior moved home and isn’t leaving?”


Secretly, I was thrilled this summer when my 22-year-old middle child moved home to finish his senior year of college at a school near us. It wasn’t exactly his choice, but due to some financial fiascos, he’s home. He was only staying a week until he found his own apartment, but it turns out apartments in our metro-locale are too expensive – for pretty much everybody, including the boy.

Sir Husband and I downsized just over a year ago into a sweet two-bedroom townhouse with the youngest child – now a senior in high school. Not that we were counting down to Empty Nest (but we actually were,) and now the nest is overflowing with two man-sized-not-so-sweetly-smelling-video-game-playing-chow-hound-nearly-grown-children.

I didn’t know the return of the grown child to the nest wasn’t just a myth.

Here are a few other things I didn’t know.

1. There’s a fine line between your grown baby as your live-in child and your roommate. That isn’t possibly pot I smell is it? Wait, you are going where? To Hooters?

2. Be sure to have plenty of chips, chicken nuggets and beer on hand. And prepare to replenish frequently.

3. The bathroom has smells it never had before…let’s just leave it at that. And, sharing one full bathroom with two grown man-children requires daily cleaning. We have a limitless investment in Clorox wipes.



4. Asking too many questions leads to answers you wish you didn’t know. Sure, I’m grateful he shares things about himself as a adult now, but my brain crinkles up when I hear some of it, this is my baby.

5. Witnessing your husband and your college-age son bond is like watching and hearing a couple of frat boys summarize last night’s house party.

6. Skype is open 24/7 for online gaming, and face-to-facing your girlfriend in the wee hours. Hallelujah for headphones. Not to mention we get our money’s worth now on Netflix.

7. The F-word reverberates through the bedroom door down the stairwell like wind chimes swinging in a breeze.

FullSizeRender-28. Mom-instincts die hard…

…So what I get up early every day to make sure he has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch in a brown bag that I hand to him on his way out the door for school (yea I know it’s college,) along with a travel mug of coffee and a muffin.

And I simultaneously ask him what he wants for dinner, or if he will even be home for dinner, so I can be sure to Tupperware-up the leftovers for his long shift at the Apple store after school.


Nope, this chapter isn’t in the manual.  But he’s still ‘adorbs’ (millennial-speak,) especially when he needs something and slurs the phrase, “Um, Can yew dooooo it?” in full millennial-whine, with a flashy grin.

And having him live here is actually showing me a few things about what happens when we help raise a human to adulthood. I feel pretty fortunate. He’s smart, he’s funny, he works hard (maybe not at cleaning his room,) and most importantly, he’s independent.

My work here, is done.



Is Your Seasonal Soap Addictive? Say Goodbye to Sound Judgement.


Tis almost the season, so I thought I’d do a little early shopping.

My favorite hand soap –  Method Vanilla Chai foaming – only comes out once a year, which I learned last year much to my dismay. This is the absolute best-smelling hand soap ever invented. A little vanilla, a little cinnamon, a little warm tea, and it lingers on your hands just long enough to offer a momentary waft of aromatherapy.

the method handsoapI picked one up last year from a grocery store clearance bin, only to find out it was 99 cents of pure liquid gold. Of course when I went back to get more, it was gone, and wasn’t even available online.

Completely bummed, I ensured that every member of my family who used it, only did a half-pump (totally plenty) so it would last twice as long. When the bottle was almost empty I added water, just to get the spit sip (it works.)

So this year, determined to buy enough to last all year – at full price now – I went online to a famous big-box store, and sure enough, I could order three (the maximum allowed, who knew it would be rationed,) and get free shipping.

Boom. Done. In two days I had three bottles of my favorite foaming hand soap in my hand, one for each bathroom and a spare.

And then… The next day, three more bottles arrived from the same big-box store, left at my front door.

Wait. What? I checked my credit card and was only charged once. Lottery win! Or…ethical dilemma? Do I return the three “freebies,” or do I keep them as some kind of gift from the Cosmos? Maybe there is a Santa Claus, disguised as the UPS guy?

IMG_3581I haven’t really ever won anything, well, I did win a book after commenting on a Facebook Live feed last summer. I was “randomly chosen,” and got a signed, first-release hardcover. So it’s possible three more soaps were a total win. Maybe I was “randomly chosen” in the warehouse to get a bonus box.

I wrestled with it all day. I asked Sir Husband what to do. It haunted me a bit (which is good perhaps? I’d be a fail as a thief.) I could donate the three free ones… or, I could put the bottles away in the closet because hey, there’s still time to decide, the holidays are just getting started. When in doubt, wait it out.

So I did. And then, as if it was the movie Groundhog Day – when every day repeats itself over and over – ANOTHER box of three arrived 24 hours later. Not kidding. Now what?


Luckily Thanksgiving is here, so when we go around the table before we eat and say what we’re grateful for — an uncomfortable tradition because for some reason it elicits guilt — I’ll know just what to say.

But wait! Before you sit down to eat – everybody wash your hands.

wash your hands