Musings from Mama Bird
From MSN’s homepage, the headline squawked at me: Adult kids flock back to the nest. You mean there’s a chance that just as I’ve grown comfortable in my empty nest, the birdies may return?
Maybe I’d better hold off on converting the spare bedroom into Mama’s sanctuary.
Don’t get me wrong. I love, love, love my children. I enjoy the company and conversation they provide. They’re funny and insightful and appreciative. And many times, I’ve told them, and meant it: “You will always have a place here.” But let’s face it, those Family Sunday visits are just long enough, and when our kids leave, my husband and I are pretty okay with having the place to ourselves again.
This wasn’t always so. It took months to calm the quiet heartbreak that overwhelmed me every time they waltzed out that front door on Sunday nights, leaving behind a longing in my soul that kept me counting down the six days before our next weekly rendezvous. But practice makes perfect, and while I’m not thrilled when they leave, I am content to return to the quiet solitude left in their wake. But, as long as they’re in school and/or working, I will always welcome them with open wings.
There will, however, be rules this time:
1) All dishes will be scraped and rinsed and promptly placed in the dishwasher.
2) Laundry loads will not be so large that the washer shimmies and the dryer runs for 90 minutes.
3) Cell phones will be put away during quality family time.
4) Household chores will be equitably divided, no griping allowed.
5) This will not be a flop house for food and sleep.
6) Rent, maybe?
7) They will eat whatever I prepare, and be grateful.
8) They will never, ever say, “But I told you I was _____ and _____. You don’t pay attention/are forgetful/have Alzheimer’s.”
9) They will not crank up the heat or A/C after I go to bed.
10) No arguing allowed. Ever.
My kids are awesome, they truly are. And I honestly think they’d be great roommates. But just like when they were young, Mama’s got to lay down the law to show them who’s the boss. It’s called parenting.
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