When I was twenty-five, I was single and living in Chicago with a good friend. I had a job I loved and a boyfriend who loved me.
Then, in the space of a few weeks, my roommate, my boss, and my boyfriend all moved on, so I called my parents. “Can I come and stay with you?” I asked, “until I figure out what to do next?” Of course they’d be glad to have me.
My parents lived in an old farmhouse in northern Michigan and I moved into the guest bedroom. I discovered, however, that I wasn’t a guest. My mother tried to change my diet and my father tried to change my mind. And they both worried when I was out late at night.
In less than a month, I told my parents I’d found a job and a little apartment, so I’d be moving out. I expected them to be disappointed. They were not. My mother could hardly wait to give me some pots and pans and dish towels.
It didn’t occur to me until years later that my moving home had been difficult for my parents, too. And yet they had not hesitated to welcome me, to disrupt their life to make room.
I wonder if I ever thanked them? Probably not enough.