This recession has a lot to answer for. Stress. Unemployment. Homelessness. Families torn apart. Families brought back together.
It's time for a good news story.
"You wrote about boomerang kids a while ago, offering busy working parents sympathy when their grown children move back home again," wrote a longtime reader from Amarillo, Texas, this week.
"I just want you to know that you don't have to feel sorry for me. Neither do my friends, the women I work with or other members of my family who keep shaking their heads and clucking.
"When my (divorced) daughter came home to live with me after she got laid off -- and brought her 3-year-old daughter with her -- I didn't know how I was going to manage.
"Now I don't know how I'd manage without them!
"When my 26-year-old son asked me if he could come home too because he'd been laid off from his job as a car salesman and couldn't find another one, I thought again of your sympathetic article about children like mine and had to smile," she wrote.
"Once again, save your sympathy. I don't need it!
"How do I manage, you ask, with long hours at work and two extra adults and a toddler in the house? With all the love and help and support around me that widowed ladies like myself used to have when our children and grandchildren lived nearby.
"Don't misunderstand me," her letter continued. "My children and I have our problems. We have our arguments. We have our bad days. We have our rough times.
"They don't pick up enough after themselves or do enough around the house in general. . . .
"It's true that we fuss and argue, but what's wrong with a little fussing and arguing? Without younger people around, people like me don't have to fuss and argue -- we just talk to each other and get more and more set in our ways. That's not such a good thing either!
"My kids are helping me stay young. I have help around the house whenever I insist on it, and good company (most of the time) when I need that, too.
"So thanks for the sympathy, Niki, but this time you're off the mark. My boomerang kids and I don't need it."
The next time you or I meet a parent whose adult child has returned home, we'd do well to remember that congratulations might be more appropriate -- and appreciated -- than condolences. Good news, indeed!
Questions and comments for Niki Scott should be addressed Working Woman, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.