Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

So, how's your 2011 treating you?

Just days shy of the first month ending and a month since Christmas (longer since since I've checked in here - more on that in a minute - patience!)

At Casa Bowery, life has been nothing if not unpredictable. Starting back at the week before Christmas - The Big Guy was head hunted and accepted a job that not only offered greater compensation, but also recognized individual achievement. He has a company truck which means we only have one vehicle on the road. After 23 years with his previous employer - this was as close to a Christmas Miracle as we were going to get!

The Christmas Holidays were frantic, visiting with family and sharing the good news. Hosted Christmas Morning Brunch, add a hockey tournament, no, actually two, and enjoyed a small get together with our friends for New Year's Eve. Put this all together you can imagine why at the end of the week, I was practically in the fetal position. All I could think of was, I need a vacation from the vacation!

I had my next entry all ready - the week that The Big Guy started his new job, I was ready to share the big issue facing my little family - how to share a morning with a father who's had 23 years of peace and tranquility - aka - Welcome To The Real World Big Guy! It still may come, but isn't really relevent right now...

But Life - well, every now and then Life likes to pick you up by the back of the collar, hoof you in the hiney with a frozen work boot and then wash your face with snow, just for laughs.

This cruel form of karma came back the first day of TBG's first day on the new job. We all made a fuss when he left - as proud of him for keeping his cool with two kids and wife "underfoot" as we were of him heading off to the next stage of his career.

When he came home, the kids were all over him. They wanted to know every detail of his day - which he gave in spite of the fact that he was mentally exhausted and looked like he'd run a brain marathon.

So I let him share his stories, show us is lap top, the truck, the new cell phone and all the other details that make little boys glow with envy and pride. After the kids were weary of his accounts, I took the moment to give him some news about my day.

I was laid off. Indefinitely.

Happy First Day at Work Honey!

Being in the manufacturing industry, I had some idea that things were slow, but to say I was caught off guard by this news would not only be misleading, it would be hilarious.

He was very supportive and understanding and I felt like a heel for raining on his parade. We agreed to save telling the kids until the end of the week - which was to have been my last day.

Except, it wasn't. Higher ups in the company decided it would be best for me to leave immediately, as is the nature of Sales. So on Tuesday, I was packing up my desk and back to the house by 11 a.m. As long as I was being paid, I might as well start looking for the next job, right?

Finally, the Heir and the Spare come home from school.

"What are you doing home mom," asks First Born Son.

"Where is your brother?" I reply - yes, diversion is an acceptable tactic.

"He's coming - I threw his toque in the ditch and he's gone back to get it. Why are you home?" he repeated.

"Oh, I've been home all afternoon," I respond - do you see what I'm doing here???

"MOM Why are you home?!" At this point, I realize the poor little bastard is JUST. LIKE. ME. I would totally have done the same thing. Your Spidey Sense is tingling, isn't it FBS?

"JEEZ FBS, take it easy, you just got in the door, I'm wondering where you brother is - do you need to go help him?!" The tone tells him to take a break, and he does, but only for a moment.

Second Born Son finally arrives, asks almost the same question but is satisfied with the "I've been home all afternoon" line. He's so his father's son.....

I had hoped to wait until TBG got home, and don't ask me why. Because it would sound better with him in the room? Dunno. FBS waited all of ten minutes and came at me again.

So I get both of them in the same room and share my good news.

"WHAT? Why would you take a job where you could get laid off???" FBS demands. I'm astonished to see he is REALLY mad. It takes a moment to realize that he thinks I could have prevented this from happening which is why he has a small measure of anger directed at me, but the larger portion is aimed at the business for letting me go. He also admits that he thought we'd won the lottery since over the holidays apparently I had indicated that I would quit my job if we ever hit the jackpot. (Uh, it's pretty much the opposite of that...)

After I explain that any job can be subjected to a lay off, and that in this economy, millions of people have been in this position for much longer. I reassure them that I will be looking for a new job and that we don't anticipate any changes in our household for a while. His tone changes and it becomes evident that he's worried about me, but his surprise got the best of him.

At that point I realize, SBS has been rubbing my back and giving a reassuring pat ever since I told them. He hasn't uttered a word and when I look at him to thank him for his comforting gesture, he stops me mid sentence and gives me a huge hug. I love this kid!

The shock of the news was soften considerably by the fact that I had dinner in the oven and was giving a most delicious aroma. Immediately they seemed to register that there were some advantages to having Mama Bear around.

In the week since this has happened, I've painting the exposed flooring in the upstairs hallway, tidied up countless boxes that were half unpacked, set up the hutch in the dining room and emptied at least 10 boxes of china, decor items and silverware. The living room actually looks like a living room instead of a drop zone for everything from action figures to saws,and the laundry is totally caught up! I'm ready to tackle SBS's closet which requires some shelves to be built. Power tools anyone?

Fortunately, my contact at the local newspaper is thrilled to have more of my time and I will be writing more than I have in years. Stepping back into journalism is like putting on your favorite pair of jeans - the ones that went out of style for a while, but now are so retro they are cool again.

I love the fact that I have a skill I can use in a freelance capacity, and plan on using this as an example for my boys when it comes time to choose a career path.

Finally TBG comes home, and since from the boys perspective, this is "news", SBS greets him at the door.

"Hey Dad, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is, dinner is ready! The bad news is, Mom lost her job!"

Factual, to the point and direct. I wonder if this boy has a future in reporting?

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