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.
8. 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.