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Laugh and Cry
This week has been quite a roller-coaster emotionally for me.
Our son had a job interview in Phoenix. He was excited and
went with the frame of mind that he had the job. Our daughter-in-law went with him-all on his given days off. We had "custody" of the grand pups.
They stayed with our daughter and surprised (read that scared the pants off) our nephews by hiding behind furniture and having them find them.
"Grandma, Uncle Adam and Auntie Sam scared us and we screamed!"
Our daughter was thrilled to have her kid brother-if only for the brief 48 hours. She wanted him to get the job as much as he wanted to get it. Sarah's need for us all to move closer has been quite clear from the start.
His interview was Wednesday morning-they planned on leaving right afterwards to come pick up the dogs.
But his wish came true and he wound up staying at interview #1 for 2 hours and then going straight into #2 for another 2 hours. The job offer was made and his starting date is July 9th.
He sounds happier and more relaxed than I've heard him in over a year. Let's face it, working 100 hours a week and then told that it isn't near enough is not exactly music to any employees ears.
Our daughter-in-law will remain here with us until the condo is sold and her job ends at the end of summer.
I'm thrilled for them and missing them already. I'm happy at my son sounding happy and crying because I know that now both my kids and my adopted kids will no longer be either down the street or even in the state.
And to make matters worse, my husband wishes he could sell our home and join them in their new home state as well.
It's not that I don't want to be there with them-I really do. But when you have health conditions that require as many meds as I do-all of them unaffordable without group insurance-even with Medicare (that is a whole other blog, but I'm not through steaming about that enough to type without breaking my keyboard over yet) to "help" out, it paralyzes you in fear about the 90 new policy activation that most employers have in their hiring practices.
I seemed to have done right by my kids-they are fearless and jump into any and all changes without the need for a net. I don't know how they got to be so brave, but my admiration is strong on that subject.
On more of a financial but just as emotional roller-coaster, last week my husband and I were running errands and we decided since we were passing by the local mall that we'd stop in and have our wedding rings checked and cleaned. We did just do it the end of April, but I had some stuff caught in my engagement ring, so we just had everything we were wearing checked.
Since the loss of a diamond out of my tennis bracelet last month, (it too was just checked) I'm uber-vigilant about re-checks.
Good thing-the center prong on my anniversary band was damaged. It was sent in for an estimate and the jeweler called to say, "It will be $15.65." I repeated the amount and said to go ahead with the repair.
He called back right away and said, "You okayed that pretty fast, so I wanted to make sure you knew it was "$1,500.65."
"No, that is not what you said, I even repeated the amount. Why on earth would a prong cost that much????"
Turns out that the jeweler found a crack in the stone.
Really? Great, just dandy.
When I told my husband, as expected, he informed me that my ring would now be put into the safe with my bracelet.
All of this, just when we were just beginning to see a glimmer of sunshine.
Last week was moving "day" for a certain in-law. Let me just say that despite having to be in a bouncing Budget 16' U-Haul for 500 miles-both my husband and I were happy to do it.
Thanks to our son, who started the "ball" rolling, my husband's mother is now the "property" of my sister-in-law. She's in a brand new HUD apartment. It's a small 44 unit complex filled with 43 other residents who also are very broke. The apartment is ADA approved. Meaning it has grab bars all over the bathroom and an emergency pull in both that and the bedroom.
They have a community room with a couple of recumbent bikes and a self-made library. For some reason, even though the halls have a/c-the units do not, but there are fans in the bedroom and living area.
This move was necessary on several levels: she had burned every "bridge" there was here, the rent in this area (even though it was government subsidized) was too high and my husband really needed to not have the stress she was providing on a daily and hourly basis.
My sister-in-law didn't realize just how problematic her mother's personality was until she found herself using the word "NO" a lot and within a mere 6 hours of her arrival. "It's now my new favorite word-I see I'm going to be using it a lot. I had no idea."
By the time she and our brother-in-law took us to the airport 3 days later, both were thanking my husband for all he had done, what he had been through the last 16 years and realized that it really was their turn at dealing with her antics and extreme personality disorders.
When we were celebrating Father's Day with my side of the family, we were showing a couple of pictures of a winery we toured. Mother-in-law was in a couple of pictures and our son said, "Look Dad is smiling and now it's my aunt who has the tense anxiety ridden grin on her face."
Our daughter-in-law commented that "Dad, you're looking about 10 years younger!"
It's true. And it's sad. Not that my husband's face has a long lost ease to it-that's the wonderful part. The sad part is that his mother will never admit that she burned so many bridges and that everyone feels that this move was so very needed and welcomed.
In spite of it all-I'm hoping that this clean slate will afford her a new start and she won't do the same things there that she did here. But at 83, I doubt it. First you have to admit that you didn't behave as well as you should have and want to NOT repeat the errors. If you think you're perfect and it's the rest of the world who had the problem, then history will repeat itself.
We did have some fun. We found this little town called Buttonwillow, which was about 1/3 of the way into our trip. It had two Motel 6's for some reason. It also had a couple of other motels, 5 fast food joints and two restaurants. We stayed at a pretty nice Motel 6 and asked where to eat. The manager said to go to the BBQ place across the street.
It was pretty retro in décor-but the food was excellent! We went back for breakfast and then we went on with the drive.
In Santa Rosa, my sister-in-law booked us into a cute and very retro motel. There was an excellent restaurant attached to it with an interesting and very foodie menu. We also had dinner at a nice Italian place and a breakfast at a restaurant that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. There was another restaurant we ate in that was also very good. One dinner we ate at my sister-in-law's. Knowing she was tired, we suggested chicken from Costco.
Guess what? They shop at this bulk warehouse, but had never had the rotisserie chicken! Once they tried it-they were hooked.
Now that we're back, Steve has several "pins" to stick in his birthday restaurant board that our son and daughter-in-law made for him. He has a notebook to write the names and places as well.
When pressed by his mother as to when he was coming back or when she was coming to visit, it was my husband who said, "I'm not sure. We have no idea what we'll be able to afford and remember, we have our daughter and grandkids that come first on our list of who we visit and who visits us."
What I find to be the saddest part? No one will be questioning us as to when they'll see her next.
Makes me think-am I like this? I'd better check this out now and make amends. I don't want either of my children to feel this way about me.
Our daughter sent a picture of our 5-1/2 year old grandson Dylan to us-he was sitting by an adorable little girl. She's got her head on his shoulder and is looking up at him with loving, googly eyes. He's looking at the camera looking very pleased about both his "girlfriend" snuggling with him and getting a picture taken of the event.
Sarah said, "Since we went to Disney World last week and he got double-kissed by both Princesses Cinderella and Snow White he's gotten the confidence to talk to girls."
After the photo posted on FaceBook, I commented that I remember my own girl crazy 5 year old. Except he started at age 3. Yes, Adam and I took a couple of mommy and me pre-school classes together and he never missed a chance to walk up to a cutie and put his arm around her while asking, "So, how about we sit next to each other at snack time?"
Yes, confidence is a fantastic personality trait-no matter what your age.
When the confidence exudes from your child it's a heart-warming feeling. You know they'll be okay as long as they have that feeling of self-worth. It may wax and wane, it always does-but the fact that they start out with the feeling that they can be successful at things is a relief.
What I hope for both Dylan and Aidan is that they find confidence in not just the obvious of being able to attract and maintain relationships with members of the opposite sex, but in all areas of their existence.
Maybe this is the mom/grandma in me, but I'm hoping that while they love the girls they remain just my little love bugs for a good long while. Maybe until they at least graduate high school? Sigh.
Going back to other forms of confidence. As a parent, aunt and grandparent, my promise to myself is to show my various members of the younger clan that this word is easier to accomplish than they may think. What they need to remember that it is the "show" of confidence that future employers, friends and even possible mates will find most attractive.
And then there's the difference that I hope they learn early in life between confidence and egotism.
We all know someone who exudes ego and actually has little to no worth. That's not what I want for my kids. Of course, Sarah and Adam have confidence but I want them to keep it while realizing that to continue to stretch and grow, no matter their ages, is the only way to keep the good feeling and not becoming an egoist who just wants to say they are great.
They are 30 and 28 respectively, so I try to set by example. The same holds true for Dylan and Aidan and other future grandchildren.
My example in confidence? I had no idea I even had given it until Adam told me about a conversation he had with our younger nephew, Jonathon. He was going through a tough time and Adam, ever the psych major gave him this advice:
"You know, you need to go for whatever it is you want to be. You may not get to use it right away, but you need to be ready when the opportunity surfaces. Look at your aunt (me). She always wanted to be a journalist. Always. But she also wanted to be a great mom. So she tucked away her dreams after 3 years in the business and then, once I graduated-the first thing she did was start looking for ways and times to write. It didn't matter how small, didn't matter for what-just that she wanted to finally follow her dreams.
"Look at her now-she may not be getting enough to support herself, but she's writing, she's getting quite the following and she is always looking to try a different form and subject, all in the name of being a writer."
Strange, when he told me what he did-it was I who felt a wave of new confidence.
Do You Like Changes?
As we go through life, changes are bound to happen. Big. Little. Good. Bad. But the question I'm wondering is: Do you embrace them? Or do you try your best to run in the other direction?
Of course, this probably depends on what the changes are and if you have brought them about. It's one thing to change where you work-IF you're the one who initiated the change. It's a whole other feeling if it's because you've been down-sized out of a position that you felt was your dream job.
Case in point: My husband loved being a corporate trainer for a company that he had been with for almost a decade. Then the owners retired and he was one of the few in the main office that still had a job (of sorts) when they retired and the main corporation bought them out.
He was given a choice of two positions, both of them not exactly what he wanted to do. However the third option was, "goodbye and don't let the door hit you on the way out."
So I'd say he has neither embraced nor made a U-turn.
I wasn't given a choice when my "day job" ended; just found myself without a job. In a way, I did embrace the change. I missed what I was doing, but decided it was the push I had been side-stepping to really try and write full time. My reasoning? "If not now, when?"
It hasn't worked out the way I planned financially, but I do love what I'm doing. Every day is something new and different and it fulfills my love of learning and meeting interesting people.
Now in a totally different realm of change, we love to watch House Hunters International and we find ourselves looking at some of these people and can't help but think: what the heck are they thinking?
My example on this? The other night a young couple who had just graduated college and had never lived together decided to move to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Why? They just wanted too. No job, no money, no plan-just thought it would be cool.
Really? They rented a place and adopted a dog. Still no job. Now some of you may be saying, "Good for them. They're young and this will be a fantastic learning experience." While others may be saying, "Are they crazy? It's an island with only so many jobs! What are they going to do for money? And they adopted a dog? How irresponsible is this?"
Since I'm more on the later part of the feeling, I'm also wondering, "Who's paying their way and for how long?"
If they were independently wealthy and wanted to do this-great. But I have to wonder what both sets of parents said and agreed to on this whole experience?
So here it is I'd love for you all to think over how changes affect you and whomever you reside with and let me know-how do you handle major changes in your life?