That's the first question people ask when I tell them I chose to combine households with my daughter, her husband and their baby son.
And here are some of the reasons why.
Living with three generations under one roof is familiar to me. My mother's parents were Czech immigrants in a small Texas town and the household they created included orphaned cousins, aging parents, brothers and sisters and, luckily for me, at times, one grand daughter. Some of my best memories formed in that house, with the conversation in the kitchen or the garden and the singing on the back porch summer nights.
The life style I was living (alone during the week during the school year while my husband teaches in another city, working hard in my business, eating out several times a week, letting household repairs go) didn't sit right with me. I had way too much stuff, especially after having accumulated estate items from my parents and aunt, and didn't have a handle on how to pare my belongings down. My once abundant garden plot stood empty and bedraggled. I planted hopefully the last two springs but gave up on during summer because I just couldn't face all the work alone. I stood in my ktchen evenings cooking for one and wished for a family to feed.
My values call me to work to repair the world, which I see as very broken and too focused on independence and competition. Combining resources (time, money, energy, ideas) should free us all up to work harder at making a difference in our community and beyond it - more time for volunteer work and activism of all kinds, for relationships, for spiritual practice.
Ruth and Chris and Bob and I share similar values about the life we want to live and we get along easily together. I trust those three people, both their intentions and their follow through, and enjoy being with them, learning from them, talking and eating and cooking and working with them
The idea of living in the same house with my baby grandson (Liam, the cutest blue eyed newly walking baby in the world) was a delight.
Life is short. Life is precious. People die when you least expect it. Every moment is a moment we have to share, so being together under one roof allows more moments to be cherished together.