Groan Up Children

Scanning radio stations during a recent road trip, I heard a public radio host introduce the author of When Will My Grown Up Child Grow Up and Move Out. I turned the volume a bit to the right. This sounded more interesting than the recent Republican rants or Adele’s latest hit (or as I think of it, miss).

Except it wasn’t.

Rather than an NPR version of Jerry Springer, it was a civilized showcase of how wonderful it is to have 20-something sons and daughters back at home with mom and dad. Everyone loves one another, respects each other’s space, and vows not to push those buttons they did a decade before. They plan and cook meals together. They divvy up the cleaning and the laundry and even share the yard work.


This is fiction.

Here’s what really happens: Said 20-somethings are on a different schedule. Maybe even a different planet. Their social life occurs between the hours of 10 and 4; that’s 10 pm and 4 am. They sleep while you are working, cleaning, and worrying about how they’ll ever find a job if A: they don’t roll out of bed until 3 or 4, and B: fail to roll the from bed into the shower. Though they do not deign to sit at your table during regularly scheduled mealtimes, telltale signs of their hunger are manifest in your home office, especially on the keyboard of your computer where, before they learn to delete history in your browser, you see the Top Hot Babes and lyrics to the latest hip hop songs. Then they learn to delete history and all the research on Lithuanian myths you discovered for the fairy tale sequence in your novel is obliterated. You learn that A: You need to chill and B: You really have to respect this 20-something because after all he’s an adult.

And then you decide if the 20-something has returned home, it’s time for you to leave. And you run away (in an adult fashion) and go back to school in a city two states away and you find yourself making many trips along the interstate, seven hours a stretch, and wonder why NPR never asks your opinion…

And then you think maybe YOU should write a book.