Steve and I planned on doing nothing this weekend. We’re really tired after a long summer with insufficient support for the autistic kid and with the return of his dramatic older brother. 20-year olds should not be living with their parents. Sometimes the chaos is fun. Other times, I would like to zip myself into a canvas tent in the deep woods and not talk to another human being for two years.
Maybe that solitude will happen this week when people return to school, college, and work, but it didn’t happen over our Labor Day weekend. Although we planned on solitude, it didn’t happen. We met family for Friday night happy hour at the local pub. Then, a friend’s son was involved in a terrible accident, so I made her family a full meal (baked ziti with fresh spinach, sausage/peppers/onions, chopped salad, garlic bread) and brought it over to her house on Saturday. Did I really need to make that marinara sauce in the baked zit from scratch? Probably not, but I did it anyway.
OThen on Sunday, I decided that I wanted to be the type of person who brings a really awesome bundt cake to a party. Bundt cake makers are highly evolved and cultured. But do I know how make a bundt cake? No I do not. Do I even enjoy baking? Not particularly. But I was a woman on a mission, so I googled “bundt cake recipe” and found one that included the word “bourbon.” Sold! Steve and I mixed, measured, and baked for three hours. It was a really great cake though, and was a big hit at Sunday night’s dinner party. I would do it again. Recipe: Apple Bourbon Bundt Cake
On Monday, I made a tomato salad to my folks’ house for dinner. That was super easy. I just chopped up some beautiful multicolored tomatoes from the farmers market. Then added half a chopped cucumber, sliced red onion, parsley from the garden, feta, and salad dressing. No pictures.
Objectively, I know that all this activity is a blessing. We’re so lucky to have friends and family around us. But perhaps there is a little room in the backyard for a She-Shed.
16 thoughts on “Weekend of Food and Care”
I absolutely think you have room in your back yard for a she shed.
This weekend we drove into the mountains to a pond that used to be a gravel pit for the building of the interstate. It is amazing to see what glory is so nearby and also what can grow in so few years. We made the mistake of going the wrong direction for lunch and ended up with a much too long drive back, but I plan to overcome the distress of that occurrence and engage in more forays.
Italian friend said their two have not left the nest yet (I think, not unusual for Italy). I think, they say, not unusually until marriage there. And, in Singapore, it is apparently nearly impossible to find separate accommodations until you are married (because the government controls housing for most people).
I do not cohabit well with my 21 year old. She has found her own place each of the last 3 summers. A key seems to be that we can’t really separate from the parent/child relationship. I still have opinions about what she does (including, say, her choice of shoes) that aren’t up to me, and she cares enough about what I think that she doesn’t just ignore my opinions. I think my 18 yo might be able to live at home, because he doesn’t care if I don’t like his shoes and he accommodates me, mostly, about things I argue are my house needs.
I do wonder how families that have adult children living longer term with them manage their interactions and spaces. We’ve seen a few parents navigate the adults at home (usually during college, or a transition, rather than indefinitely long term — even without the variety of choices during the pandemic, which were more dramatic, including adult families moving in with grandparents, with their children).
We have friends in Spain, who are living in a Madrid apartment with NINE children who ages ranging from mid teens to late 20s. They are very religious. I think that they pray a lot. I think one either needs drugs or prayers to get through that sort of arrangement.
Yeeks. I do think it would be interesting to see how that operationalizes. Shared bunk style rooms? Big dinners? Presumably not staying away in partner’s houses, if they are religious.
I’ve noted a weird fascination with big adult families who are very involved in everyone’s lives on TV (packed to the rafters, sisters, . . . . ). But, maybe that is mostly just a plot device. And, in general, they don’t live with one another (though sometimes).
More and more people are living in multi-generational homes, because housing prices and rents are insane. Or moving in with a girlfriend too soon. Grumble.
bj said, “I’ve noted a weird fascination with big adult families who are very involved in everyone’s lives on TV (packed to the rafters, sisters, . . . . ). But, maybe that is mostly just a plot device.”
Yeah. You need a density of characters for TV purposes. Hence “Full House.”
But this varies a lot by subculture/ethnicity.
They have to make their own mistakes. Bite your tongue and they may come back.
bj wrote, “I do not cohabit well with my 21 year old. She has found her own place each of the last 3 summers. A key seems to be that we can’t really separate from the parent/child relationship. I still have opinions about what she does (including, say, her choice of shoes) that aren’t up to me, and she cares enough about what I think that she doesn’t just ignore my opinions.”
My 20-year-old and her cat share a very similar style of dealing with my preferences.
“I do wonder how families that have adult children living longer term with them manage their interactions and spaces.”
Our 20-year-old is starting her third year of living at home for college (her preference). I kind of wish that she would have more of a social life, but she seems generally contented. We have fairly limited expectations with regard to chores, etc.: unload dishes, do own laundry, get room ready for cleaners, do school work, go to church, watch little sister and feed little sister when necessary, take care of cat, don’t leave messes in the kitchen, etc. The 20-year-old has her own bathroom, which helps. (We pay her if we leave her with little sister when we go on dates, but not if we’re shopping or doing other errands.) I don’t police the condition of her room as much as I did throughout K-12.
The more sociable 17-year-old is a lot more eager to live outside the home for college. We’ve told him that we can cover a year or two of dorm, although my husband just (re)discovered that there’s a Hometown U. scholarship that will cover 4 years of room and board. So that’s exciting…We’ll have him apply for that. He’s also more interested than his sister in various trappings of adulthood (driver’s license, job, etc.). He drew the short straw and (unlike his sisters) doesn’t have his own bathroom.
I should mention that my 20-year-old aspires to spinsterhood. She’s thinking of doing graduate school, but we may still be together for the long haul.
Part of the reason we couldn’t talk her into living in the dorm was that she figured out pretty fast that her room at home (bigger, own bathroom, walk-in-closet, right next to the kitchen, cat allowed) is nicer.
I never met the original owners of our house, but I think I remember hearing that the house was built for a family with adult children at home. It has almost 3,000 square feet, 3 bedrooms each with their own en suite bath, plus an office (that we have turned into a bedroom).
It is true that sometimes people insist on performing incompatible activities in the living room, but it mostly works. And I’m ethnically a WASPy WASP–it is the way of my people to need a lot of space.
Lots of love in that food!
“They have to make their own mistakes. Bite your tongue and they may come back.”
Oh, mine said this to me explicitly this June, something along the lines, of, “If you keep doing that, I might never come back.” I don’t know what I said, but probably something in between “load the dishwasher” and “you’re not going out of the house dressed like that”. We have a particular argument over a tote bag with an obscenity on it.
Pick your battles. A tote bag isn’t worth it. And if they need something (money) they’ll forgive. But still pick your battles.
Yes, we are still at the stage where they need money, so I think I will have to be more careful in picking my arguments in the future. Right now, the compromise is that the bag doesn’t come home, and I think my wish is being honored (but, I don’t know if it would be, if she were completely independent).
The same one just sent me an entire collection of “first day of school” pictures, so it’s all good.
Love Ian’s 1st day of school photo. I’m a red hair groupie. It just photographs so well, so I’m a bit biased.
I do love 1st day of school pictures. Except for the 6 years I worked at a government institution, it’s been the constant in my life. It’ll be weird when it’s not.
And, to be clear, I’m not using money as a threat over totebags, but, I do think the power imbalance might play a role, quietly, in complying with my request over them (which, by the way, is reasonable) 🙂
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