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Moving My Parents Into My House

Moving my parents to Seattle from Chicago was my idea. Moving my parents into our house was all my husband, Chris. He proposed the idea. I immediately brushed it off. “That sounds like a terrible idea,” I said. Nobody would survive all that intensity, not even him. Chris loves my parents, but would he love living with them? I doubted it.

He suggested we add on to our house. They would have their own mother-in-law. Separate. Yet together.

I started to lean, ever so slightly, in the direction he was pointing. Give my parents security. Give them their own space. Give them the best proximity imaginable to their family.

My parents are in their late 70s. They have spent 45 years in Chicago, where they raised me and my sister. I didn’t want them in Chicago, battling brutal winters so far away. I worried about their health. I wanted them closer.

The real question was — did I want them thisclose? Like, in my house close?

The more I examined the idea, the more I knew moving my parents in was right. In fact, it was the only way to go for all of us. My mom is from Taiwan, and I am Chinese-American. I come from a legacy where intergenerational living is the norm, where all the generations take care of everyone, and the elderly are treated with respect. During my last visit to Taiwan, I saw those values in my mom’s family, and yearned to have more of that experience in the United States.

I realized it was up to me and my family to do it.

I am officially living into my vision. This vision has my parents come to our house once a week for dinner, has my kids running over to their spot to get a better lunch from Grandma, has my pup expanding her pack with two more pairs of watchful, loving eyes when I am working or am out of town.

My parents live with me. I am the luckiest.

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