By the time parents near their mid-50s, empty nest syndrome is often on their minds. For us, as life would have it, we are getting to experience the opposite. I have yet to come across a name for it - full nest syndrome just doesn't have the same zing - but we somehow have ended up with more kids living in our home than with which we began.
Our daughter, her boyfriend and our grandson currently share our home with us. Baby accoutrements fill our small living room. Containers of formula, accompanied by gallons of water take up the kitchen table. Four people now share one bathroom, the washer and dryer... Even the cars. In addition (but not people-related) a large rabbit lives in the dining room, and an aging cat occupies any available space.
I often wonder if I should send out cards to friends: "We humbly apologize for not having invited you over for dinner in ages. We just can't fit any more bodies in our small house. Please forgive our social lapse."
When will this end? To be honest, a large part of me isn't in any hurry. I've often heard others morn over not getting to see their grandchildren as they grow, and how they feel like they miss out on fostering a relationship with these precious little beings. Parents of grown kids complain how they feel out-of-touch, and don't hear from their children nearly enough.
We, on the other hand, get to see, play with and frequently babysit our adorable grandson. We get to share in daily milestones, big and small. Walking through the living room, we can catch a smile. His sweet babbling voice entertains us when we're sitting in the kitchen.
I won't regale you with the downside list, though there are many issues to deal with, on a daily basis. For in all honesty, our little multi-generational household comes with many pleasures. I would indeed like to have an empty nest, but for now, our house is a heartful home.