I fixed it!! And now,
This morning Tre and Max

I live with my parents.

I live with my parents. Have I mentioned that? Yes, after the spectacularly horrible demise of my marriage, the boys and I packed up and moved in with my folks. Actually, Mom and Dad had been living in an 850 square foot house. Charming, but a bit cozy for all of us. So they bought a new house, one that would fit all of us, and we set up housekeeping.
When I told people about it at the time, I didn’t really think too much about their reactions. I had other things on my mind, and it seemed like the obvious solution. But over time I became aware of a certain level of discomfort, both in myself and others. I would start to tell someone, “We’ve moved in with my parents,” and pause. Wonder for a moment if there was any way to present that information without sounding like a 32-year-old sponge. Or I would be explaining my living situation and someone would remark, “That’s great, that you have that until you get on your feet.” I would think, wait. Do you mean I have to move out? Soon?
We’ve been here for over a year and a half, and life has settled into some very nice grooves. Once, when we’d been living together for about six months or so, I remember watching an exchange between Mom and Max. Mom and Dad’s room is in the basement, and she had just come up the stairs into the kitchen. As soon as she got to the top of the stairs, she realized she had forgotten something down in her room. Unfortunately, Mom had a torn tendon in her foot, and was wearing a big black orthopedic boot. This made stair climbing a chore, not to mention painful. She called Max over, and asked him to go downstairs and get the forgotten object. Max has strong, healthy legs and plenty of energy, so that was a fine solution.
Except Max was a little afraid of going into the basement by himself. So Mom stood at the top of the stairs, singing a goofy song that she made up as she went along. It was an enthusiastic tune, with more originality than…melodic quality. Mom has a gift. I mean that sincerely. She will sing the oddest songs of her own inventing to the boys without the slightest bit of embarrassment or hesitance. They love it.
And Max loved it, on his trek into the lonely wilds of the basement. He soon came thundering back up the stairs, forgotten object in hand. As I watched this moment in our lives, it occurred to me that this is why we all live here together. It’s this kind of community that is the goal of the lot of us, shoved in under one roof. Our assortment of weaknesses fit in well next to our varied strengths. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
This is where my boys and I need to be, and even where my parents feel they need to be. I’m on my feet, and I’m standing in the right place for us.


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