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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The "Boom, Boom, Boomerang Love" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Running the vacuum in the second floor hallway.  Not much to clean upstairs since only one bedroom is used most of the time.  The other two are now used when guests or family make visits to the "Beach House" which happens maybe once a month.  Other times the doors are closed to prevent our cat from sleeping on the beds and spreading cat hair on them.  When we first moved into the "Beach House" back in the mid-90s, our children occupied the rooms from time to time.  One time our daughter and her fiancé lived with us until they found permanent teaching positions in Maryland.  Our youngest son occupied the basement bedroom for a few years while he saved money to buy a home of his own.  And, our oldest son made a few stops in one of the upstairs bedroom after finishing college and searching for what he planned to do for employment.  His intention was to play professional baseball, and he had been contacted by the San Francisco Giants telling him he would be picked in the first round, but then he suffered a career ending injury while pitching about a month before the major league draft.  His world was turned upside down for some time so he came back home while struggling with a decision.  Evidently our children are no different than most other children in today's society.  Read in the paper recently that 36% of our country's young adults between the ages of 18 to 31 are living at home.  I found that number astonishing!  Over one third of today's youth are living with their parents?  What gives?  I could hardly wait to get married and get out of the house.  I did live at home for a few years after I finished college and began teaching, but moved out in my early 20s.  My wife only lived with her parents for a year before we were married.  She was 19 at the time.  When I was a teen and in my early 20's, moving out of your parent's home was a post-World II necessity.  The "In" thing to do.  Didn't want to get caught living at home.  The newspaper story also said that people are waiting much longer to get married.  Another reason is the huge debt that a person accumulates in order to go to college.  Getting out of college, without a reasonably adequate job and owing as much as a home or at least a car, what are the kids to do?  Move back home.  This phenomenon has been tagged the "boomerang generation" and is not uncommon evidently.  I was able to graduate from college with no debt at all, but at that time a semester cost me $143 for 15 credits and my books might have cost me $50 if I couldn't borrow them from a friend.  I realize that was back in the 60's, but why could I do that while kids today can't?  My kids all graduated from college without any debt, with a little bit of help from their mom and dad, but today's prices are off the chart.  20K or more for a year in college isn't that unusual.  By the time a young adult graduates they have a tremendous amount of money to repay.  I really didn't mind when the kids moved back home, since we got along well and they always helped with the chores around the house.  Seems what used to be considered a "No-No" is now beginning to be the norm and the boomerang generation doesn't seem to upset about living with mom and dad.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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