NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Many households across the nation now have a little less elbow room. According to Zillow, roughly 2.7 million U.S. adults moved in with a parent or grandparent in March and April as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Most of those who packed their bags were Generation Z, ages 18 to 25.
Some grown kids are moving back home as a way to save money while continuing to work their jobs remotely. Others had no choice but to come back to the nest, because the pandemic left them jobless.
Before the coronavirus pandemic changed the world, big brother Terrence was working and living at home with his baby sister Jamair, who’s now in eighth grade.
Their brother Trenton, moved back home last year to save money to finish college and then planned to head out on his own.
That meant Terry and Janele Bryant of North Charleston had two of their three adult children, and a teenager living under one roof.
“And then when the pandemic hit and shut the NBA down, Jatae, who had already moved out on her own, came home. So now we have all four children at home, three grown, and the one that’s saying why are y’all back cause this is my house. So now everybody’s under one roof,” Janele said.
Janele calls it a surreal experience, having a 25, 23, 21 and 13 year old all together.
Jatae was having a ball living on her own. The recent Clemson grad had landed a job as a performer with the NBA Houston Rockets and was living in Texas. She was still under contract when the call came in June from their coach with bad news.
“We have decisions to make whether we’re going to continue the season and a couple of weeks after that they announced the Orlando Bubble and that’s when we found out we wouldn’t be dancing anymore,” Jatae said.
She thought she’d be home just a few weeks, but that has turned into months, and having her baby sister Jamair for a roommate is taking some getting used to.
“Well she tells me all the time it’s her room now, and I came back and I’m kinda just a guest so she kinda makes the rules,” Jatae said.
And though she’s the baby of the bunch, Jamair is not afraid to speak her mind.
“The tv is a very difficult thing because I like staying up later than her, she always falls asleep before me and I can’t go to sleep when it’s quiet, I need the tv to go to sleep,” Jamair said.
And of course bathroom time is a battle for all four of the kids.
So has there been an instance where someone’s been banging on the door saying, when are you gonna be done?
“Sometimes in the morning, if I’m trying to hurry up, Jamair will be in the bathroom, I’ll just bang on the door like I need to get in there, yeah,” Trenton said.
All the adult kids work, and they do what they can to help out around the house.
“With me, I try to take the role of the maintenance man so, I’m good with my hands and fixing things so as stuff breaks I try to be like, don’t worry about that I’ll find out how to fix it,” Terrrence said.
“There are some days when I come home and Jatae has cooked dinner which is great and when she cooks she’ll clean the kitchen that has been a godsend when I have to go into the office,” Janele said.
To bring some organization to this now very busy household, lunches are labeled with names, and the calendar on the fridge is color coded to keep up with schedules.
Even though things are hectic with all of the kids back home, Janele still tries to make each of them feel special, especially for their birthday. So when it’s their birthday, their decorations get to stay up for a whole week, so Trenton just celebrated 21.
As Terry and Janele eventually look forward to life as empty nesters, they’re happy for now to know that all of their children are safe and home.
“They have their moments when I look around and I’m like, wow, that’s so cool. And then moments I’m like are you moving soon,” Janele said.
And for those of you who start your day by listening to Gospel 106.3 FM, this is the family of Terry Base who wakes up radio listeners every morning on WJNI. He was at work during this interview and not availabLe to be with the rest of the family.