Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.
The typical expectation seems to be: child graduates from high school, gets a job and moves out; or goes to college, graduates and moves out.
It has been different for our family. One child graduated from college and moved back home for about three years, moving out when she married last month. Another child worked and went to community college part-time over several years while living at home. He is now a full-time university student living on campus. Another son has also gone the community college route while living at home, hopes to transfer to university in the fall and live on campus. Son three graduated from high school, headed to university and lives on campus.
Our sons will probably live at home during most school breaks, but will they live at home after graduation? Who knows? There is graduate school, marriage, finding jobs - so many variables.
We have experienced the occasional stress and strain of young adults trying to spread their wings, but still living under the eye of their parents. They are autonomous, but not. We are all still learning the steps to this sometimes awkward dance. My husband and I step back, they move forward, all of us trying not to step on each others toes.
However, there have been some unexpected benefits to our not-so-empty nest. As they live at home, they have the advantages of building up a nest egg, paying off student loans and having the money to buy a car.
But the best part is the great conversation. We survived the days of "Why is the sky blue Mama," and "Would you clean your room!" Now we discuss and debate religion, politics, philosophy, music and every other topic imaginable. So I plan to enjoy my kid while they are still flying in and out of the nest because it will be an empty one soon enough.