I keep a shrine in my house.
It has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with having a child who has grown and left the house. Sort of. The shrine is my son’s room. He is 23 and has graduated from college and moved out. Partly.
What has not moved out are his Little League trophies, catcher’s mitt, X Box games, girlfriend memorabilia, college books, basketball jerseys, class pitcures, diplomas– (kindergarten, middle school, high school, college), photo, spring break memorabilia, posters, college flags, athletic shoe collection size 13, guitar, and the inflatable mattress from the days when a friend slept over. My son has moved on, but his stuff has not. I keep it– in the shrine. Occasionally I ask my son if something can go. Answer: NO. My sister in law Mickey had one answer. In a fit of efficiency, she recently boxed everything up, rented a 16-foot truck, and drove it across country from New York to stash it in Wisconsin. There it will remain until thrown out by her future grandchildren or archaeologists, whichever finds it first. In my home, the shrine remains. But I am comforted to be on solid statistical ground. Over half of all college grads are now returning to live at home. Sociologists are calling them the Boomerang Generation. The minute I get rid of all this stuff and turn my son’s room into a crafts workshop, we all know what’s going to happen. He’s going to move home, and the first thing he’s going to look for is his 8th grade basketball jersey.