Theyyy’rrrre baaaacckk …

I write this while waiting for my oldest daughter, her fiance and their two dogs - a 10-pound chug (Chihuahua-pug) and a rather rambunctious springer spaniel (who does not yet get along with our cat - insert eye roll emoji - and loves to bounce off furniture, walls and ceilings) - to walk in the door.

They’re not just visiting. They’re here to stay for a few days, or a week, or maybe even longer.

You see, they’ve been “homeless” since July, when they moved out of their house after it sold but before the home they’re building was finished, or even started. Thus, they’ve been living with my husband and me part time, and the other set of parents part time for about three months now.

Here’s what I’d like to share with parents, who - like me - may be a bit naive in thinking that when their kids turn 18 and graduate from high school, the kids are gone and the parents are freewheeling empty nesters forevermore.

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They bounce back.

The kids - they move out, but then they move back home. This can happen several times. Believe me; I know.

No one ever told me that.

Columnist Nancy Vogt's granddaughter, Ellie.
Columnist Nancy Vogt's granddaughter, Ellie.

After graduating from high school and venturing off to college, I returned home to live for a few summers, but I’ve been on my own since graduating from college.

Not my kids.

The oldest - the one who’s back in her old bedroom part time and has filled her sister’s former bedroom with boxes and boxes of clothes and household items and who knows what else - did leave home for about 10 months after graduating from high school at age 18 to live with my parents in St. Cloud while attending cosmetology school.

That’s when she bounced back the first time. After graduating, she found a job here and eventually moved into an apartment with a friend. She bounced back once or twice more - maybe it was three times; I can’t keep track - for short stints until we finally thought she was gone for good.

That lasted three or so years, and now she’s back. With another person and two dogs. It’s temporary though.

Our youngest daughter has not bounced back, but it did take her several years after graduating from high school to move out.

Nancy Vogt's 14-month-old granddaughter, Ellie.
Nancy Vogt's 14-month-old granddaughter, Ellie.

Now both daughters are moving into houses, and their lives seem pretty on track to the point where we believe we’ll once again gain those two spare bedrooms that we had fleetingly.

Of course, I write all of this somewhat in jest. We love our kids. We’ll do just about anything to help our kids. We will always welcome them with open arms, no matter what and no matter whom or what they bring with them. Our door is always open to them.

Our stepson has never returned to live with us since entering adulthood. Now that he’s married and the father of the most adorable 14-month-old you’ve ever seen, part of me almost wishes they’d move in.


Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at