Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest is a hybrid of memoir and reporting from the parenting trenches by Sally Koslow, a journalist , three-time novelist, former editor-in-chief of McCall’s and Lifetime, essayist for magazines and websites, and mother of two grown sons.
Plenty of books have been written about sending kids off to college and the woe-is-me empty nest. This book is about today’s not-so-empty nests, to which many college graduates return. In a public display of reflection, Sally Koslow is an author-sherpa who allows readers to get up close and personal to understand the lives of these young adults and their families. Slouching Toward Adulthood parses attitudes about work, money, cocktails, drugs, food, social life, spirituality, sperm banks, sloppiness, and technology. The book explores marriage, parenthood and self-esteem--and the possible lack of all three—and dives deep into what makes adultescents choose their own adventures.
With the wisdom of hindsight, many Boomer parents saw their kids graduate from college and start to wander. They may have tried to insulate their children from discomfort, failure and struggle and encouraged improvisation as they’ve talked through every choice. Perhaps they curated files on worthwhile programs because they have been convinced that their daughter was the next Mother Theresa, not just a girl who likes Bollywood movies. Most parents, however, never expected their children’s wandering to last for years. No wonder they are frustrated and confused, as are many of their children, who currently exist in a perfect storm of over-confidence, the allusion of never-ending time and a grim reaper of a job market.
Slouching Toward Adulthood begs the question, why has this national trend of wandering happened? Should parents and adultescents try to change the picture? And where, please, might I find a couch to sleep on tomorrow night in Uzbekistan?