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The Almost Empty Nest Syndrome

I think of the Gloria Gaynor song “I will Survive” whenever I think of the teenage years and parenting.  I know I wasn’t the most pleasant when I was a teenager way back when.  I think there is something in our biological make up that ensures that children reaching that late teenage years become the very best asshole they can be so that their parents boot them out of the nest.  It happens to all animals.  Once the young one reaches a certain maturity, off you go, little birdy, fly away!

The same holds true to the human offspring.

My beautiful and talented daughter is at that wonderful age where she is ready to leave the nest.  We are currently roommates and to be frank, she is a horrible roommate.  Dishes in the sink, clothes strewn about the house and the bathroom is always in a state of war torn shambles.  And then there is the talk about respect.  Yes, R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Just like Aretha Franklin’s song – Respect.  That’s all I’m asking for.  A little bit of respect goes a long ways.  If you want to be respected as a young adult, then you also need to dish it out.  It’s a two way street, my friend.

My beautiful and talented daughter started getting more and more mouthy.  Trash talking to be precise.  I looked at her and put my foot down again.  The line in the sand is here.  You have trashed talked me too far.  It is time for you to go, my dear child.

She is 18 years old.  Legally an adult.  She holds down a full time job.  Hangs with her friends.  Live at home.  You would think life is all sweetness and peaches, right?

No.  Remember that early statement of the biological make up where almost adult children start behaving in a way that makes their parents want to boot them out of the house?

I’m not saying this happened overnight.  No, this has been going on for a while and granted, I know things haven’t been easy. And yes, I agree, I did spoil her growing up.  Her, being the only child and me, being an “enlightened” parent who didn’t want to repeat what my parents raised us.  In hindsight, maybe a few spankings would of done this child some good?

What I’m saying is this.  She is ready to leave the nest.  We have already discussed her moving out.  She’s been hemming and hawing about this for about a year now and I told her, if it is this horrible to live in the same house with me, perhaps you should move out now?

The thing is that when we were at that age, we moved out as soon as we could.  Couldn’t wait to leave my parent’s home and make my way into the world.  I left when I was 19 years old.  And while I moved back in a couple of times, I stayed out with the understanding that I am my own person and responsible for my own actions.  My own consequences.

I have also conferred with a few girl friends of mine who are in similar situations.  Their almost adult children.  19 and 20 years olds are in need of a booting out.  At some point, you need to remind these lovely spawns of ours that it’s time to make their way into the world.

So we are living in Seattle in 2017.  It is expensive living in this city and yes, rent is crazy.  However, a little creativity and gumption goes a long ways. Shared housing among friends means split expenses and the ability to get along with folks.  That’s right.  Goes back to the concept of respect.  If you can’t respect your parents then how are you suppose to respect yourself and your housemates?

More and more, I am reading about adult children living at home with their families.  What?! 24 and 25 years olds living with their parents?  What is wrong with this picture?

I came across this article in Washington Post describing just this scenario.  Granted, the article talks about the children moving back in with their parents after being out again, I am finding this slightly horrifying.  And then, I remember I did something similar.  And then I moved out and stayed out.

Oh yeah, and currently.  Said beautiful and talented daughter is mad at me because I am holding firm to my boundaries.  She’s living with her friends.

And I’m loving the idea of having a clean kitchen sink and a quiet house that is clean and uncluttered with clothes in the living room.

As I said before.  You can’t really adult if you are living with your mom and she is taking care of you.



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