A Guide To Growing Up: When Baby Bird Doesn't Have a Nest
This past Monday, I stopped by my parents house to ransack their refrigerator and steal books from my father’s collection surprise them with my presence like the thoughtful, caring and above-average lady they raised me to be. And, like the thoughtful, caring and above-average parents they are, they had a little surprise waiting for me: a giant realty sign declaring that the house I grew up in is SOLD.
To be fair, which I hate to be, it wasn’t exactly a surprise. My parents told me they had an offer at my best friend’s wedding reception two weeks ago, but I had drowned that news out with a glass or two of white wine and distracted myself by perfecting my unintentional physical comedy routine.
To be even more fair, they’ve been empty-nesters for nearly ten years, with the exception of the brief spells my little brother and I spent back in the nest (hot tip: moving home as an adult is not the carefree and fun-loving return to childhood you think it will be).
But to bring it back to the most important person in this story (me): this leaves their fragile baby bird without a nest! What is a delicate, helpless creature who is pushing 30 do in this situation? I’m glad you asked:
1) Cry. But only privately and quietly, because most people will agree you’re overreacting.
2) Get a storage unit. Because your dad is NOT as attached to that box of your childhood drawings as you think he is, and your mother has no qualms about throwing away your Most Improved Volleyball Player (1999) trophy. Yes, they give trophies for that.
3) Start calling dibs. You think they’re going to be able to bring all their sweet furniture, original artwork and carefully-collected curiosities with them when they move into their new place? Think again. Tell your mother how much you like that couch before your sister has the chance to claim it. Also, the bike you left in their garage? It belongs to your dad now. Seriously. And no, he’s not going to “give you like, 25 bucks?” for it.
4) Grow up. Or at least pretend to. I recommend visiting real estate sites on a daily basis trying to find a house that is on par with the one you were raised in and in your price range, it will make you feel superior and pitiful all at once, a truly special combination.
I think there might be a fifth step, but I haven’t reached that stage yet. It’s a process. A process that I’m making up.
Help me out here, little birdies: are your parents still living in your childhood home, or did they sell the nest right after you left it?
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@Nora, not a better daughter. If your parents are still together and it's all happy memories it makes sense they'd want to stay.
We have this ongoing question in my family too! There are three kids in the house right now, and it's super super crowded and noisy. My parents always complain that our house isn't big enough, but after I leave to go to school, the house becomes quiet. We're wondering what will happen after we all leave. They'll probably be so relieved....=.=
I can so relate to this! A few years ago I drove by my childhood home and it was gone! I actually had tears for a few moments. A monster home is probably there now ... I won't be going back to see it.
My parents did something just as gut wrenching. Within days of my departure to my freshman year of college, my parents did a massive overhaul on the decorating in their house. We are talking a whole different paint color throughout the house, all new furniture and they tore out the carpets and refinished their hardwood floors. Don't get me wrong, their house is gorgeous, but when I returned for my first visit about a month later, it was like walking into some hotel lobby. Then 2 years later they took it a step further and put on an addition to their home, so now even the structure no longer resembles the house I grew up in.
@ali, you are a better daughter than i am (obviously)
When my mom sold our house I had to throw out a closet full of magazines. Years and years of subscriptions. I still mourn that loss, but really can't imagine sitting down and reading any of them. When I moved out east I made my mom store a bunch of my stuff despite her annoyance. Every time she visits she brings a small box, she's slowly trying to get me to take it back. I can't wait for her to come out with some of the bigger stuff, like framed art!
Haha! I love this! I can definitely see the sentimental attachment. I've actually been bugging my mom to see the house I grew up in for years. But that's also the home my parents split up in and I am a big believer of fresh starts - even though I had a fantastic experience growing up there.
I can't even imagine how that would feel like. I like to hoard things so I think I won't be able to see anything go to waste and just bring everything over to where I live.
My 'rents have threatened to sell their home several times, but then what about all my dogs, cats, and randomly found dead baby birds buried in my backyard? Nosirree!
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