Friday, January 6, 2012


     Our 24 year old daughter is one of those boomerang kids.  Meg went to college but somewhere shortly before turning 23, she moved back home (sort of).  The tuition and the cost of living away from home were just too much.  I say (sort of) because we have a studio cottage on our property.  It is a cute little place - sunny, clean, and, oh did I mention small?  As in tiny?  As in maybe 20' x 20' , including the kitchenette space and the bathroom?  Meg has her space out there and it is terrific.  She used a lot of elbow grease when she first moved back to clean it up. Then she and her dad painted the whole studio (all 400 square feet of it), and dad replaced the old windows with dual pane windows, replaced the funky tiny old frig with a cool (literally) new one, and replaced both wall heaters with functioning and energy efficient models.

    Meg can come and go as she pleases.  She also can come in and out of the "big house" whenever she wants.  She is wonderfully cognizant, however, that her dad and I have grown accustomed to living sans kids and she is respectful of our privacy and our space.  Her once upon a time bedroom in the house has been converted to a guest room (primarily used by her brother)/office space for me/gallery space (again, for me).

     When Meg initially moved out to go to college, I will admit to (silent) rejoicing.  Her adolescent years were, shall we say, challenging for everyone.  Although she was welcome to stay at home and go to the local community college, I was ready for her to go be independent somewhere else.  But nearly five years of independence can certainly make a difference in how you view the world and what you might appreciate about what you have.  When Meg asked us about our long standing offer to live in the cottage (as in, could she take us up on our offer?) I was willing but admittedly somewhat hesitant, given the challenges when she left (and a few in between).

     I am happy to report that this has proven to be a win/win situation.  Meg has had a safe, comfortable, and cheap place to live while she finished up her BA and got started in the work world.  We have had our moments (generally where someone had unspoken expectations) but, overall, she has been fun to have around.  We check in often (minimally several times a day, via text, phone, or in person) and she frequently has dinner with us.  She is smart and stylin' and does me the biggest favor by laying out my work outfits - a week at a time.  She takes me shopping (okay, so I carry most of the money) and has encouraged me to stay culturally current.  She and her brother are my biggest painting fans and she always has opinions on how I should do things.  She is often right!  She has a terrific sense of humor and is very open and fun about her dating adventures.  She chooses friends well and I am constantly being amazed at how much knowledge she has of EVERYTHING.

     So here's the rub.  Meg is moving out.  WAAAAAAAAAAA!  I have to be careful lest she think I will fall apart when she leaves but I will miss her.  I will miss her laughter, her spark, her fashion instruction and advice for living.  She is not moving far and we will still text and talk on the phone routinely.  She will likely be about 30 minutes away but she will no longer be a daily presence in my home life.  Unlike the last time when she left, I am happy to have her for our neighbor.  But she wants to get back into a house with several other 20 something year olds and that makes sense.  I salute and encourage her growth even as I wave goodbye.  But that's not until next month so I will enjoy her while I can.      

    Meg, shall we make CCC's?  (aka chocolate chip cookies for the uninitiated).


  1. Love this. Your daughter is beautiful and I'm glad you've had this chance to get to know her again as a young adult!

  2. Not only do you have the right outlook, there is amazing technology available to help keep that distance to a minimum. I personally like CCCC's, chewy chocolate chip cookies.

  3. She is beautiful. We're going through kind of the same thing with children moving out and moving back in and then moving back out again. Wish we had a cottage :)

  4. I love this :) And I wish I could live IN someone's cottage! Even a tiny one (with storage space elsewhere of course.) Sounds ideal! I'm glad you both had this opportunity