18 December 2009

Life Throws A Curve Ball

I was listening to Dennis Miller streaming the other day and as is so often the case he came up with another golden nugget-
"You're only as happy as your most miserable child."
We have just one child, but from watching others with a "Black Sheep" I can see that it's true...
You cannot avoid trying to herd that wayward sheep back into the fold. And unfortunately for some, the lost member of the flock sometimes doesn't take well to herding.

That's not the case with our young lamb... he doesn't enjoy the feeling of being lost.
He's been away from home three years now and has had an interesting time so far... at one point he had his full-time job and three part-time jobs. His full-timer was a 9 to fiver, and the part-timers were accomplished from his home office in front of his computer. For a while the money was flowing freely and he didn't have a care in the world. Then the 9 to 5 company pretty much went bankrupt and he started having to watch his pennies and dimes...
Still, there was enough to pay the bills and have discretionary money left over.
Then one of the part-time jobs folded.
Ouch. Now the outgo exceeds the income, and it's time to get serious about remedying that.

From a distance of 1700 miles we provided what support we could, which obviously wasn't much more than now-and-then advice. Staying in contact via cell phones and the occasional Skype video call is a comfort, but it's not the same as bein' able to reach out and hug your kid. He's not picky... would have taken a job as a greeter at a big-box store if it were offered. But of course, those hiring for those jobs look at his resume and fear if they hire him he'd soon find work more compatible with his abilities... they won't hire him.
So under these circumstances he went 8 months... I'm pretty proud of him actually... he had enough savings to pay his bills for 8 months before things got desperate. (He's still making enough money at the two remaining part-time jobs that he's not eligible for unemployment compensation.) His calls got more and more desperate and I finally said, "It's time for you to come back home so we can lend a hand."

Now, by "coming home" I don't mean "Move back under our roof", although that remains a last-choice option. Our thoughts were that he could move back to BigTown, two hours away, where I could use my network of friends and get him a "foot in the door" job where he could start over. Home for Thanksgiving, we imposed on several friends to try to find employment for him and they came through with flying colors. He was pretty much offered a job as a waiter at a restaurant that was being built and would open about the time he could get back in the area. He felt comfortable enough to sign a lease on a nice, nearby apartment. He went back home and we started making plans to pack a moving van and drive the two day drive back to the Midwest.

Then, guess what?
He got a job offer in L.A..
It's a dream job...
Well, almost. He doesn't want to live in the L.A. area... the traffic drives him crazy and he can't afford more than a one bedroom apartment there right now. But the job keeps him involved in the Science Fiction industry and will expose him to new faces and places there. The starting money is good and will get much better within the year.

Now it gets expensive, and he doesn't have much $$$ in reserve to play this game...
He has to break the lease he just signed in BigTown.
He has to cancel a contract he just signed with Dish Network.
He has to write a check for the lease on the new apartment in L.A., (a minimum 15-month lease, by the way.)

His old man is working Christmas night and will get off work the following morning. That day I'll fly to PHX and begin loading a moving van that will be headed West, rather than East. I have three days to get him moved and unpacked, then I'll be flying back home to spend my 29th Anniversary with my lovely bride. It's my hope I'll have enough energy remaining to stay awake and enjoy a little champagne.

Looking ahead at the next two weeks is no fun.
I hope, on 31 December when I'm watching the bubbles rise in that glass of champagne, we can finally relax and smile.
I'd appreciate your good vibrations, please.


OlePrairiedog said...

Be safe on your trip. Your being there will be a great help and I'm sure it will be appreciated. Tell him we wish the best for him in the new year. And of course for you and Sara Jean.

Cissy Apple said...

I guess you have to look at the "big picture". Things usually work out for the best. Just go with that thought.

As for moving, I think we moved our daughter at least a dozen times when she was in college and graduate school. Some were very necessary moves--some were not. At any rate, after four moves I told her I wasn't going to help her move anymore. I did get out of a few moves. Hopefully, there will be no more moves.

The Old Man said...

From one tuff ol' so-and-so to another, you're secretly tickled it's worked out for Bubba this way. As we used to hear "It's good training." Hopefully sumpin' like that'll work out for the Bear - he's been out of work since July. But still holdin' his own. 'Tis a prideful thing when your offspring raises up on his (or her) own hind legs and makes it work. Our best to you, SJ, and BB. We're pullin' for all three of ya. Merry Christmas and congrats on the anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Well now you know I'll be thinking of you and the family and sending all the good vibes I possibly can muster.


p.s. My congratulations to you and Sara Jean on your anniversary...New Years' Eve Wedding....hmmmmm.

Clint said...

man, i feel for ya, but it's awesome for your son to know that he's got a dad that will help him like that...when it's all said and done, you will have definitely earned a great New Year's with A LOT of bubbly....

cj said...

GB -

Life is strange, isn't it? What's that saying - life is what happens when you're making other plans?

Good thoughts for your moving duties and for your son in his new start.


the golden horse said...

You know what GB, you are doing what good parents do. You are letting him make his decisons however painful it sometimes can be, because of the distance it sometimes entail. We all know how hard it is sometimes.
You have laid a good foundation with him.
I have met this young man and he is a great kid. You have done well by him.

thing73 said...

What a great father! I don't think my parents would have so supportive and helpful. I know your son is very talented in a field that is hard to make a living. Good luck to him!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Good vibes forthcoming. Good thing he's going to LA. I can only hope for more buttery goodness in 2010.


cary said...

Pretty strange timing, but hey - if I can help while you are in the area, let me know. I've got a pretty tight schedule on Christmas Day, but Thursday evening, if there's anything I can do to prep for your arrival, give a holler.

And, yes, prayers all the way.