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Our little not-so-empty nest: Bobby, Billy, Timmy, and Kip. Those are Kip’s feet hanging off the couch and covered with a towel (guess he takes after his parents when it comes to sleeping accessories).

When I first moved to San Francisco from Arizona, I was 18. My first week in the City, I was escorted by two police cars out of a very bad part of town to my basement apartment (which was also in a very bad part of town). As I opened the garage door to get into my apartment, a fatherly type police officer said with genuine concern, “You better lose your country innocence young lady because you are in the City now.”

Spotting that red plastic cup on our new antique table (there better be a coaster under that), I’m thinking about waking the boys up and explaining in my most patient mommy voice “Dudes, you need to lose your college boy ways because you are not in IV anymore; you are in our empty nest!”