My adult children have moved back home for the summer. In September, when both of them moved out of the house, I missed them terribly. I wondered how I would ever fill my life again. But I adjusted, as did my husband, but we did not really notice the adjustment.
It was not so much that our lives filled up again; it was more that our lives became spacious once more. The house became quiet, tidy and serene. There has been time to relax, to read, to write; more time to simply be. There has been freedom from the many little tasks that tied us to the clock, to schedules, to plans. We can eat when we feel like it; work later when we are in the zone; go for walks when the weather and sunlight align with our moods. We spend less time grocery shopping, cooking, and doing laundry There is less need to coordinate schedules; we have not had to worry about picking people up from work; we have worried less about where our kids are when we go to bed. Over the last eight months, we remembered the taste of freedom, the luxury of unscheduled time, the pleasure of acting spontaneously.
So, three weeks ago, when both of my “kids” (who are 19 and 23) moved home, it felt like a bit of a shock. The house is upside down. The garage, the basement and my office are stacked with furniture, boxes, and garbage bags full of belongings. My daughter’s room is full of unpacked boxes, bags, and packs. My son has set up a temporary studio in the basement and his bedroom is littered with clothing. Their schedules are the mirror image of ours; they wake up 5 hours later than us, go out to parties when we are going to bed, and go to sleep a few hours before we wake up. We are back to picking up my daughter after late shifts at work; worrying about our son when he has borrowed the car; and listening for her to return from parties at 3:00 in the morning.