I read somewhere that many families are now “multi-generational.” That’s “new speak” for the observation that many grown kids are moving back in with their parents.
It’s not a majority, but something significant is happening. My wife and I should know because, for a variety of reasons, we’re part of this statistic.
To review the bidding:
Our oldest son just got back from five years of teaching in Japan.
I think I’ve mentioned that he’d gotten a degree in computer animation and was part of company that made video games. Well, several years of nine day weeks and 27 hour days spent producing the next alien invader got him thinking about his career choice. Too, not having much opportunity for social contact (see also: girls) added a bit of weight to the equation that favored moving on to something else.
He ended up in Japan where he met Yukiko, a beautiful piece of God’s handiwork - far better than he deserves and a doctor to boot - and now, in addition to a newly acquired accounting degree, he also has a wife. The thing is, there are several hurdles that need to be crossed in order for her to both legally enter and practice medicine in the United States.
It’ll take about a year to get her here and, for the time being, he’ll be staying with us while trying to get started in his new field.
Middle daughter is finishing her fine arts degree - the pursuit of which was interrupted by my, now, former son-in-law - and will graduate this coming June (with honors, proud parents duly note).
The story here is that - as has been the case since the first artist drew hunting scenes on cave walls - jobs in the arts aren’t all that plentiful.
In fact, that long-ago artist probably ended up working on the first stone wheel production line and, likely, had some great ideas about colored spokes (chrome not having been available back then) which weren’t appreciated until thousands of years later - far too late for him to reap any monetary rewards.
The upside, however, is that my wife and I get to spoil our granddaughter on a daily basis and we’re becoming world-classs spoilers.
Youngest son just finished his studies and has started his own job search.
He’s a bit of a rock (and, occasionally, mountain) climber and has worked part-time at a local climbing facility for the past few years.
He’s also recently acquired a girlfriend (a little factoid that had to be pried out of him) and has informed us that, in the next few days, he’ll be moving out. To do this, he’s picked up a second job in order to make ends meet and to assist in getting away from our ever growing - but very natural - curiosity as regards said young lady.
I should note that he, too, found an individual completely above his station - a pattern that seems to run true with the males in our family since, in addition to our oldest, 38 years ago, my wife took pity and agreed to guide me through life.
I should mention that she only reminds me that I “married up” (a southern phrase) on those exceedingly rare occasions when I do something so monumentally dumb that everyone in the near vicinity begins “tut-tutting” and looking at her with nothing but sympathy and sincere compassion.
I don’t claim to have the answers as to why all of this is happening except to note that both our current economy and the price of housing aren’t what they used to be - nor will they be for a while. Too, in this area, paying for food, clothing, rent, transportation, and the occasional movie just can’t be done on some of the starting salaries available.
As for the idea of several generations living under one roof, if one looks back through history or studies other cultures, such a situation isn’t all that uncommon.
I’m not sure how all of this will turn out, but one thing I do know is that, given how families in this country tend to be scattered due to jobs and career choices, it might become a phenomenon that we could not only get used to but, perhaps, even come to
Which, I might say, is something my wife and I are finding to be true.