Imagine our surprise when, one morning, we awoke to find two grown men sleeping in our basement.
Although they appeared to be denizens of another era, legs protruding from over the end of the black IKEA youth beds in the room, athletic socks festooning lampshades, and open drawers like flags announcing the Feast Day of Dirty Laundry, they acclimated quickly. They'd last occupied this room, together, when they weighed no more than 100 pounds between them, but quickly adapted to their former environment by regressing, searching the couch for spare change for gas, and rising at 11 a.m. to consume half a gallon of milk and a loaf of toast before noon.
Yes, they were our own sons, back victorious from the baccalaureate battle.
Yet, still, somehow, in the middle place between nestling and fully plumed eagle, they needed rest (and lasagna), space to think (and to change their brake pads), time to plan (and to throw a July 4 campfire with all their friends from high school, also sleeping in their parents' basements).
We know that this situation is not particular to our family. It's more an artifact of hard times than soft upbringing. Soon, our sons will move on to their own homes, condos, or yet other people's basements. Until then, it behooves us boomers to think of the benefits of what we might call … early returns. This is what we're planning — and you can, too.
- Put the zing back in our romance by making out in the car, since privacy has left the building.
- Rejoice. There are two more licensed drivers to run the younger kids around. And they have night vision.
- Lay off the chores. We now have two more pairs of hands to shovel, pull weeds and throw into the wash the 200 towels we'll be using each week.
- Impress everyone at the next family wedding by adapting boomeranger moves to our statures, both physical and sociological.
- Imagine ourselves super-styling at said family wedding with hip accessories.