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Once upon a time, long before there were teens, I lived alone — FranklyStein

Last night, as I was brushing my teeth at 10 p.m. and my teenage son was trying to get in the shower, I found myself reflecting back to the days when I lived alone.

After having roommates through college and for several years after, I moved into my very own apartment when I was 25, and it was sheer bliss. It was quiet when I wanted quiet; my food didn’t disappear from the fridge, and the only mess was the one I made.

KidsWLittle by little, however, I’ve traded that in.

First my husband moved in. But I didn’t mind sharing food, combining our messes and going to bed with the light on when he was still up. In fact, I loved it.

Then we had Maggie, and it wasn’t always quiet when I wanted it quiet. But it was good, because she was so cute and we loved her so much. Then Lilly and Adam moved in, and it got a little crazier. The house was messier and the fridge was crowded with pumped breast milk, but it was a good crazy. Then along came Jonah, and it was not only crazy but also a little crowded. But even though we had a houseful, it seemed all very special because they were ours. They didn’t feel like roommates because they were little and their doors were never shut.

But the other day when I was brushing my teeth and my nearly full-grown son was elbowing me to get out of the way so he could get in the shower, it suddenly felt a bit like college again. These days, it’s hard to find peace and quiet in the house. Someone is always barging into my room and borrowing my clothes; food is always disappearing from the fridge; doors are often closed and sometimes slammed; and someone is always up long after I turn off the light.

I realized, however, as I fled the bathroom, that I love my roommates. They are messy and loud and they often make me crazy, but I wouldn’t want to live alone again for a million dollars.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 14, Adam, 14, and Jonah, 10.


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