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Monday, November 11, 2013

A Room of My Own

They say that the trend these days is for adult children to move back in with their parents. So, since my family is nothing if not trendy, my college-graduate daughter and her boyfriend and their pit bull and hamster moved in with my husband and I, and our turtle, and our two dogs a few months ago. Then, just to round out the jolly scene, a beloved childhood friend of my daughter's, whose life had hit a tricky patch, joined us as well.   

Luckily, our estate is such that we were easily able to set the young folk up in their own wing, simply alerting the staff to stock one of the other kitchens and a few of the other bathrooms with whatever the kids might want or need.

It was lucky too, that we'd tired of our garden and were eager to see what the new pup, a master of deforestation, had in mind for the space.   
My Room
When the time came for my scheduled trip to New York, I bid the household farewell, and after a pre-dawn flyaway bus to LAX, a flight to Kennedy, an airbus, a train, a brisk walk from Penn station, a stop at the hotel desk to check in and get my key, an elevator ride up to the 7th floor, and a brief struggle with the door, I was all alone, in a room of my own.

And that, my friends, was a feeling beyond compare.

My room was perfect. The frowzy furniture reminded me of my ancient Auntie Rosie, for no reason I could put my finger on. I found the tacky faux-Asian lamp almost unbearably touching.

My View 
Since we don't have television at home, I usually hit the remote pretty hard when I get the chance, but the urge never once arose this time. I was content just to hang my gig clothes in my closet, arrange my toiletries on my sink, look out my window, and sit on the edge of my wonderful, lumpy, bed.

The next three days were entirely blissful. Granted, I was there to do fun things and see people I adored, rather than to have un-anesthetized surgery, say, or attend the funeral of a loved one. But still, just the sense of utter privacy was indescribably delicious and I could not have been happier. 

On reflection, I'd felt precisely the same joy years ago, when I was between husbands and rented a dank, windowless, basement apartment in Alston Massachusetts where I worked in a plastics factory. That room, too, was perfect.

I am back home in the messy, moody, crowded bosom of my family as I write this. I'm glad to be here and know that this is where I belong. But that takes nothing from the sweet, sweet memory of having a room, however briefly, that was all my own.  



Kerry Madden-Lunsford said...

I want to keep reading and reading! Lovely, Amy xxoo

Unknown said...

My mother would never left me move back in. She's converted the family house into her sewing haven.
Home in San Ramon

Unknown said...

Yes yes yes

Judith Helle said...

We've had a similar such communal family home for a while and Iris and her BF are going to be moving i the New Year. While i won't miss her moodiness or his slovenliness, I was happy to have them around.
Being a middle child, I kind of like the daily party that is family life.

ann paul said...

What I remember best about an escape from family to my own room was besides the feeling of being back in college, the true bliss was that any mess created was made by ME and no one else.


I am taking my first sips of life as an empty nester. Both girls now call their college dorm room "home." I know I am supposed to be happy, enjoying the quiet and the relative calm and my maternal independence.

I haven't found the nerve to gleefully cut the umbilical cord yet. I walk through the house and I wonder where everyone has gone while I was in the bathroom. That's how fast it happened.

The one thing I do like is not worrying he loud the tv is at night. (Unlike you, I've got a lifelong thing for certain shows and the comfort of the background noise a tv brings.) When the kids are here, I still tiptoe around their sleep, troubled any obnoxious sound I make will disturb theIr quiet needs. It's been a long time since I considered my own schedule and preferences. Learning to be Just Me is not going to be easy. (())

Rebecca Klempner said...

I could totally identify.

My home is a small apartment full of people, on an alley in a major city, with one of the busiest streets in the city 1/2 a block away.

When I went to a relative's wedding a few months back, I stayed in my cousin's sub-basement. SO empty and quiet. It was the best night's sleep I've had in 11 years.


Lisa said...

I enjoy your observations so much. Please give daughter a hug from me.