Parenting Blog

On Moving Back In With My Parents


My parents with my wife at her college graduation in 2015. She’s their favorite thanks to that time we moved in with them many years ago.

I had only been gone for two years but somehow managed to fall in love in that short period of time. When I returned to the nest, in desperate search of a free place to crash before beginning the next chapter of my young life, I wasn’t alone.

After moving south from the tranquil suburban home of my youth into two different Philadelphia apartments of questionable cleanliness and shared with a string of roommates who’s personalities ran the gamut of quiet recluse to raging sociopath, I had no place else to go but back to the Too Close For Comfort-inspired rainbow striped wallpaper of my childhood bedroom. While there, the plan was to find, and save security deposit money for, a cozy one bedroom apartment in the western ‘burbs now that my girl and I had both accepted better paying day jobs at the same company out that way.

Aside from the ‘we’re not going to be baptizing our child’ talk that would be had some 5 years later, asking my mom and dad if me AND my girlfriend could move in with them was the most awkward conversation of my life. The challenge was three fold, 1) they’d only met her a couple of times previously because we’d been dating for only a few weeks, 2) “you’ve been dating for only a few weeks!!” and 3) despite her spending many evenings in my apartment and us being obvious ‘sinners’ already, there was no way in hell my church-only-on-Christmas Christian parents were going to allow her and I to shack up in the same room together…my boyhood room where I once played with Star Wars figures, snuggled a stuffed monkey named Alphie, and sang along to Bon Jovi records.

Eventually, after some pleading and a wee bit of begging, I was able to convince my parents that this unconventional living arrangement I was proposing was kosher and on the level because this girl was the one. I explained (and probably promised them) that we were absolutely going to spend the rest of our lives together and made the valid point that we should get started right then and there, under their watchful parental eye. Now, I was never a hostage negotiator, before or since, but I’m pretty proud of that deft little maneuver. I put them in control of us and the results went in our favor. Score one for the clever 21-year-old son!

In the end, I’m not sure if I won or if they let me win. You see, my mom and dad are the loving, giving type. They enjoy nothing more than seeing their three sons happy. It wasn’t very long into this domestic experiment before they too realized that this girl was the puzzle piece that had always been missing from their youngest son’s life and that she was also a perfect addition to the Bogle family, this despite her annoying habit of putting the toilet paper on the wrong way in the upstairs bathroom — paper over the top NOT underneath!

I’m thankful for everything my parents taught and gave me over the years, but giving me and the 19-year-old woman who would indeed later become my wife those four months, in two separate bedrooms on the second floor of their suburban home, helped to foster brand new love; ours and theirs for her. With heartfelt apologies to the wives of my two older brothers, there is no way the love of my life would be my mom and dad’s favorite daughter-in-law if they didn’t have that time with her in their home many years ago.

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