Saturday, March 01, 2014

Growing up

My sons are growing up so fast! :-(

(I know, this statement is a total cliche for every parent, but oh, so true.)

Especially the eldest (the one whose 12th birthday is in 8 days). He asks me hard questions sometimes ("What does OCD stand for?" And after the explanation, "Am I OCD?").

This week, for the first time I can remember,* he reacted pretty strongly to my job-related stress and asked a lot of hard questions which I didn't have enough time to answer (but hope to do it over time).

* The boys seemed pretty oblivious to all the stress and upheaval back in 2007 when K lost his Big Pharma job and in "The Big Depression" 2009 when we worried about losing the house. But they were much younger then.

Then, as I was tucking him into bed that night, I found out that he actually had felt some of the effects of the upheaval from 2008 and 2009 that resulted in our move here more keenly than I realized. He asked me: "Why did dad have to leave the Big Pharma job?" "Why did we have to move from PA, I loved that house!!" (Me too honey, me too, sniff -- particularly after the transformation - before & after photos worth checking ;-)

Hard to answer!! If you're a longtime reader you'll know that K decided to walk away from the industry job to go back to Academia -- how to explain that to a 12 year old in a way he can understand and without boring him to tears about the job market, etc?

Some of this week's questions: "What do you mean you may not have your job anymore?" "Won't you ever go to _that town_ anymore?" "Why won't you be full time anymore?"

These made me want to be more careful about my own reactions and how much I share with the boys. I've always been really honest with my sons and I'm basically an "open book" kind of person (it's hard for me not to show my emotions), but I don't want to cause them more stress than necessary for a situation that's still uncertain and that may even be resolved. Sigh...

Then, this afternoon, when K put some music to play in the living room Kelvin said: "I don't want to listen to that, it reminds me too much of Philadelphia." :-(

And as sad as I feel about my nostalgic son (because he really enjoys nostalgic conversations and memories) missing our old house, I feel relief that we decided not to move again from here to Georgia soon after we'd moved here, even though K walked away from over half a million dollars of start-up money. Family is more important than money and a more prestigious (and stressful!) academic position and I think where we are now is a better place for the boys to grow up. Way better than that town North of Philadelphia, the spacious renovated house notwithstanding!

I was going to end there, but as I was writing the post I remembered that back in 2005 when this blog was only a few months and posts old, I blogged about a day when Kelvin asked tons of hard questions and I'd even updated the post in 2007 with photos I took as we were having those difficult conversations. I just re-read the post and was amazed to find he had actually asked these questions:
"Are we going to live in this house forever?" "Why not?' "I like to live here!" That's my boy! He's one of those kids who was born with an "old soul," as they say, such a serious little man at three years old!! And blogging is amazing because I can remember that moment so well nine years later!

1 comment:

Heidi said...

You've been resilient through all the hard transitions before. Your sons will see you be resilient again, no matter what happens with summer funding and your job. That, in their adult years, will be a huge gift to them.