09/04/2012 02:22 pm ET

'The Waltons' Meets 'Modern Family'

I am now a statistic. Earlier this summer, the United States Census Bureau reported that the number of adult children living in their parents’ households had increased by 1.2 million between 2007 and 2010. Shared households accounted for 18.7 percent of all American households in 2010, up from 17 percent in 2007. Most of those children were between age 25 and 34, but I had suddenly joined their ranks at a considerably older age.

In August 2010, as my husband, Daniel Rivkin, and I approached our 50th birthdays, we were suddenly forced to move into my parents’ home in Michigan with our three teenage children and dog. Never mind that my older brother, who had lost his job the previous year, was already in residence in one of their basement bedrooms — my parents’ three-story rambling colonial home quickly accommodated us all.

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