- Equalized movie-trivia teams to be on par with the 12-year-old.
- Sleep through the night instead of lying awake thinking about maintenance issues at apartments we've never seen on which we've signed the lease.
- Relish daily boomeranger contact with younger siblings, the most potent form of protection against premature grandparenthood.
- Get in better shape with new ferocious workout buddies who now jog half a mile ahead — about the same distance they used to sit behind their parents at the movies when they were 13.
- Let someone else take the adorable 7-year-old brother to the community pool eight times a week.
- Repair and redefine relationship with social media. No more need to Skype the college kids so they can teach how to record a movie while playing X-treme Skateboard Bonanza and watching Law and Order.
- Take weekend getaways anytime we want, something the younger sibs are insisting that we really deserve. (Ah, if only the cost of the extra milk and bread weren't so steep.)
- Appreciate an honest opinion of new haircut before going to work where someone would ask if you went to the party as Danny Zuko or Kevin Bacon in Footloose.
- And the mousse topping is this: As your boomerangers job-hunt, watch every single thing you ever advised or warned — and your dear young kin ever ignored — become a dawning reality on their faces. It's like being in the front row of your own canonization.
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Jacquelyn Mitchard, the best-selling author of 20 books, lives near Madison, Wis., with her family. Her next novel, Second Nature: A Love Story, will be published in September by Random House.