If you ever viewed the TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory, you are familiar with the character Howard Wolowitz. Howard is the stereotypical adult Jewish son who never moved out and still lives at home with his stereotypical Jewish mother who dotes on him and does everything for him as if he never grew up. He’s fine with that, even though he and his mother exchange unpleasantries on a regular basis, because it’s obvious that he is immature in the extreme. Howard eventually got married on the show, but he still had trouble cutting the umbilical cord. He expected his bride to move in with him and his mother rather than the two of them finding a place of their own. Good luck with that. ?
Howard is make believe, of course, but everyone knows a real-life someone like Howard. For example, the thirty-something jobless man recently in the news who refused to move out of his parents’ home when they asked him to leave. His parents had to go to court to evict him because he wouldn’t leave the nest and learn to fly on his own—and support himself. His parents must be embarrassed that the entire country witnessed their failure to raise an independent and responsible adult. Their son didn’t appear embarrassed by his situation at all. Go figure.
A friend of mine has a very bright, successful young adult daughter who has moved out and is on her own–supposedly. She still expects her mother to drop everything and take care of things for her that she herself finds inconvenient, to solve her serious problems, and to pay for expensive things that she wants but doesn’t care to spend her own money. Her mother says her daughter reminds her of a newly-hatched baby bird with its beak wide open for its mother to feed it. Ouch.
Sometimes, the adult children move out but leave much of their stuff behind because they don’t have room for it in the apartment they rent. Even after he bought a house our Second Son didn’t come to claim his stuff despite all the hints we dropped. It took twenty years total to get him to remove his sports equipment and weights from our home’s lower level. I can’t help thinking of how much we could have charged him for twenty years of storage.
Every now and then we find other items our boys left behind for us to remember them by. When we moved from another small town to our house on the lake, we found a sack filled with Matchbox cars, most of which belonged to our Firstborn Son. Our grandchildren play with them now when they come to visit.
Just recently, while reorganizing the winter wear in the coat closet’s storage bins, I came across a wool hat in my bin that wasn’t mine. MG said it wasn’t his either. I pulled it inside out and discovered a name label. The wool hat belonged to Firstborn. I remembered ironing that label onto the hat when he was in elementary school. I took a photo of it and sent it to Firstborn via iMessage.
His response: Mom, that hat has to be 40 years old!!!
That sounds just about right.
I can’t help wondering what I’ll find next.