With summer around the corner, the prospect of inter-generational house-sharing increases. So journalism professor Mary Quigly, founder of Mothering21–a site about “raising” older children (read adult children)–asked readers to share their experiences. Mary, who is not yet a grandma, recalls visiting her own mother’s pristine condo in Florida, usually without incident–except for the time one of her children spilled a cherry Slurpee on Mother’s precious pale blue carpet:
My husband and I got most of it out after scrubbing with numerous chemicals. Before leaving to go home, we cleaned the apartment so spotlessly that on her next visit my mother never noticed the slight discoloration on the rug. I saw it though every time I opened the front door!
Now the shoe is on the other foot and we Boomers are the ones protecting our homes from sticky fingers and Slurpees. Here’s the piece (in the interest of full disclosure, she quotes me in it!), which has familiar themes and good advice for daughters. (The rest of the site is well worth a read, too.)
Now how about some responses from daughters who host their mothers about what it takes to be a good older-generation house guest? (Jen? Anyone?) Ironically, after writing the above post, I remembered that I had, in fact, written such an article for the New York Times in 1979–Jen was 10 and Jeremy 7: “When Children Are House Guest for a Weekend.” The advice holds up!