THE BLOG
09/22/2014 06:12 pm ET Updated Nov 22, 2014

Confessions of a Full Nester

Let's not talk about their bathroom.

Let's talk about their bathroom.

I'm not sure what happens in there day-to-day, kid-to-kid, but OSHA could open a branch office there. The structural damage alone to the smallest room in the house is both stunning and magnificent in its way.

Let's not talk about the kitchen.

Let's talk about the kitchen.

I remember, faintly, purchasing the kitchen along with the rest of the house, but the property continues to elude my reign.

Do dirty dishes belong out in the family room or basement or do they belong in the kitchen sink or dishwasher? That spent bag of Teddy Grahams wedged under the sofa cushion? That doesn't belong there, does it?

Why am I talking as if I'm talking to small children? Because I have three college-educated children still living at home until their assorted ships come in or, at the least, pass by and wave. (From the Columnist's Operating Manual, this is where writers preface their words with "I love my children but --")

I love my children but -- I expected to be wallowing in an empty nest by now. But the recession happened, and life happens (and happens and happens) and here I am, wallowing in a full nest.

Let's not talk about my car.

Let's talk about my car.

OK, sometimes one of my kids needs to borrow my car. That's cool. But when I get my car back, my James Taylor CD has been removed and replaced with music from another dimension of time and space, and I am frightened by this new music and long to recover my James Taylor CD if only I can find where the disc was stowed.

And my rearview mirror has been slightly tilted! How dare my grown children follow basic safety tips and adjust the mirrors before driving!

And allow me to mention my automobile's previous level of fuel compared to the current level of fuel by which I need to transport myself from Home-to-Work in order that I may seamlessly extend our occupancy in said mortgaged house.

Then I snap out of it.

Because my grown children walk the dog without being asked, haul down the trash Tuesdays (wait, no, that still doesn't happen), or surprise me with a Chick-fil-A dinner after a long day at work. Then one of my children pries the TV remote from my cold dead hand so that we can watch "House of Cards" on Netflix rather than spend another minute after a long day wondering if Dad has developed Techno-Alzheimer's.

I know that while their independence is hungry for a new zip code, we will always be dependent on one another in some magnificent way. I know there will be, always, the coming and going, all that incessant leaving.

So what if I need a HAZMAT suit to enter their bathroom? Or that my Sirius radio is suddenly beaming Future Islands (which is a really good band)?

I'll miss all of that soon enough, and all of their ships will come in soon enough.

And I'll be left holding a TV remote I can't control, either.