By Jonathan Coppage | The Washington Post
mom, a dad, 2.4 children, and an energetic but well-behaved dog compose what we long have recognized as the classic American household: a nuclear family nestled in a suburban bungalow, living on a street with similar houses that contain similar households. Grandma and Grandpa live on their own matching street somewhere over the river. When the kids reach adulthood, they will establish their own independent nuclear habitations.
We tend to see any deviation from that pattern as an unfortunate aberration, whether it’s the cohabitation of elderly grandparents who can no longer live independently or young-adult children experiencing a “failure to launch,” stuck in the basement. A Wall Street Journal headline recently rued that the “Percentage of Young Americans Living With Parents Rises to 75-Year High.” The New York Times fretted, “It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave.” And the Fiscal Times warned: “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wanted to summon a worst-case scenario that could follow a repeal of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, she asked her fellow Americans: “You want Grandma living in the guest room?”