I just got off the phone with my son. He’s been interviewing and searching for a new job the past few weeks. On top of that tension, he is moving into a new place (with me), he’s in the beginnings of a new relationship, and he’s been staying with his girlfriend because he was forced to move from his apartment earlier than our new home will be ready. He feels like a burden.
He’s a stew of stress with a side of anxiety fries for dunking.
And he HATES dunking.
Within the course of the conversation he told me that his bumper had been ripped off his car by the car wash today, just after he gave his notice to his boss (and close friend) of four years. He had tentatively taken a job at a local manufacturing plant. It wasn’t his ideal, but he felt that it was the right and grown-up thing to do at this point in his life. I wanted to help, but there are no more band-aids I can put on the boo boos. I could feel his frustration and I couldn’t make it better.
He was dunking like crazy.
But then, as he was trying to bolt the bumper back on his 1994 Geo Prism, an individual he had known in passing from his job at the gas station and car wash (yup, car wash karma bit him in the butt) came up and offered him a job working in a group home. This is something that he’s always wanted to do, but never thought to apply for because he thought he needed to have experience. The head of the group home told him not to think of it like that. He had gotten to know him behind the counter of the gas station and felt he was a strong man with great humor, but most importantly, he was a REAL person.
I like that description of a child I helped raise: real.
I told him how proud and happy I was for him, I told him he had a natural manner with people who were stressed or challenged. I had seen him work with young boys and girls a few years back who needed to focus their attention and learn to compromise. They always listened to him because he didn’t talk down to them. I told him that he would be great. Then, with a wry sound in his voice, he said:
Aw ma, I’ve been practicing for this job all my life, after all, I’ve learned how to talk to you, haven’t I?
I then called him an ass, and said the ass (him) clearly did not fall far from the ass-tree (me)
Really! Mom, I want you to imagine just what an ass-tree would look like.
So now he’s looking at career instead of a job. He’s in a great relationship, and leasing a house that we can live in, and start our lives over. I am happy and proud of him. Words can’t even begin to explain what I feel right now.
Will this be his lifetime commitment? Who knows? Who cares? I’m just proud he’s real.
What more can I ask.
Parenting is a forever job. However today, I think I realized that there is a gambler philosophy attached to it – you’ve got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them. It’s about timing, and if you can get it right, you can have some real surprises and real moments.
Maybe it’s time to put my feet up and take a rest under the ass tree.