Friday, March 25, 2011

Revolving Door Syndrom

I've been thinking alot about revolving doors.  It seems that I have one in my house.  I've thought alot about how to nail it shut.  Let me start at the beginning.
I live in a small 3 bedroom/2 bathroom condo.  When I say small, I mean approximately 950 square feet of living space.  Let's refer to the Three Little Bears story here.  The master bedroom is just right for sleeping in.  That's all.  The second bedroom is just right for a joint office/computer room, barely and the third bedroom is just the right size for a large walk-in guest room maybe.  John and I have been living here for the last 14 years come this Thanksgiving.  When we moved to Naples it was so that I could take a job with a new health insurance company.  Mind you, we had never, I mean never, lived without our children in all those years and here was the opportunity to leave behind our grown children and start a life of our own.  A life that didn't include anyone but us.  What a delightful and refreshing idea.  I came to Naples, interviewed for the job of Claims Examiner for a new company.  I was the first Examiner they would hire and started with a wonderful salary and great benefits.  John came later that weekend and we looked for an apartment to live in.  We found this lovely little condo.  Just right for the two of us.  We hurried back to Brandon with the good news and to spend our last Thanksgiving in our old apartment, pack the U-Haul and come back to Naples so that I could start my new and wonderful job on the following Monday.  We got back only to find out that daughters number 2 and 3 had decided that they were going to move to Naples with us as well.  Can I say "bubble burst"?  There went the joint computer office room and the walk-in closet guest room and the beginning of what was to become the "revolving door syndrome" .
Daughters number 2 & 3 lived with us for about 2 years before getting up the courage to move out on their own.  Yippee!!!  At last, at last, freedom at last!  For all of about 6 months.  Then daughter number 1 called and asked if we would take custody of her number 1 son who was three (door revolving).  We took indefinite custody of our grandson and raised him like our own and fell head over heals in love with him.  then...daughter number 1 wanted him back.  Back he went and we came home lonely.  Not for long.  Daughters number 2 & 3 came home (door revolving).  They stayed for about a year and then on the spur of the moment decided to move to Utah with a friend.  So off to Utah they went,  Alone again or so we thought.  Daughter number 1 wanted to come and live with us and bring back son number 1 (door revolving).   Home she came.  She stayed for awhile and decided that she wanted to move to Kisseemee.  Off she went.  Daughters 2 & 3 wanted me to come and visit them in Utah for Thanksgiving that year and so off I flew for a fun filled week in Orem.  I visited Provo where I was married in the Provo temple, and Temple Square and went through my first live session at the Salt Lake Temple and best of all...cooked for every college kid that lived in their apartment building.  Word had gotten out that a real live mom was coming to visit--one who knew how to cook.  I cooked 3 meals a day for a whole week and even learned how to use ramen noodle soup 101 different ways.  I didn't know there were that many ways to use a ramen noodle.  I also didn't know that daughter number 3 was homesick after a year and planned to come home with me when I left at the end of the week.  So after a week I was on my way home with daughter number 3 (door revolving).   At the end of another year daughter number 2 decided to come  (door revolving).   Daughter number 3 decided to accept a mission called.  So now we were down to daughter number 2 who lived with us until she too accepted a mission call 6 months before daughter number 3 was to come home.  Empty nester's again for 6 months!!!  Daughter number 3 came home, followed shortly by daughter number 2.  Followed not too long after by one of the young women they had lived with in Orem.  Can I say "full house"?  They decided to move out and share an apartment.  Well, free at last??  No Way!  Daughter number 3 wants to come back (revolving door).  She comes home with son number 1 and they do stay for quite some time.  Seems though she has a friend that needs a place to stay for a while.  So she moves in for a couple of months.  This story goes on and on.  Number 1 and friend out.  Number 3 back.  Number 3 out.  Number 1 and husband and children in.  Number 1 and family out.  Number 2 with her husband and family in along with Number 3.  I'm sure I am missing a revolving door somewhere.  Is there anywhere in the scriptures that say parents have to have a revolving door?   Or is it simply "once a parent always a parent" no matter how old the child is?   OR...can we simply nail the revolving door shut?  Anyone have a hammer and nails?     


  1. Oh wow, Mary! And I thought my two daughters were driving me crazy! Finally my daugther #2 is living on her own with her two kids and since they're living off the state (sadly) I'm hoping she doesn't come back to live. We're still waiting for daughter #1 to move out (again), which she will by the end of the year - so she says.

    So yeah, I feel your pain!


  2. Wow, that is amazing. Something for me to think about! How wonderful though, that you are able to be there for your children as they struggle to become independent. I have seen my parents go through this with some of my younger siblings, and I fully expect I will as well, since I have a child or two on the Autism Spectrum. You are amazingly generous and loving. I wish for you some day, a door that spins just little more slowly!

  3. I think you've earned your wings. Wow. You must be a very patient parents.

  4. Love this post!! Been there, done that! When people comment to us that they are going to be "empty-nesters" - we just smile. We know better!! However, I am glad my kids come to visit, even if sometimes are longer than others. :)