Monday, August 10, 2009

Child 1

[Yes, the order imposed by the list in the previous post is not only going to be violated, it's going to be thrown on the floor and stomped on]

Some time during the last academic year I noticed, as I wandered blithely through the University campus, colorful posters enticing innocent young to attend a meeting. Normally I'm extremely dubious about these as they are usually of the, "come and see just how much money we're going to charge you to have what we're pleased to call a 'life experience!'" This one, though, had that magic word, "employment" on it. So I stole one of the posters and shoved it under Child 1's bleary eyes (for my mother: I stole one of thousands, there were at least five more in eye sight. Also it was replaced by the end of the day by some poster minion. Technically it's still theft but my blackened soul doesn't even twinge a little bit).

Child 1 brightened a bit at the thought of gainful employment that meant a) missing school and b) spending months in a state that actually boasts a real genuine beach*. It managed to get itself to the informational meeting AND fill out the online application and then we both assumed that it wouldn't hear for months and months if ever and that was that. You know, one of those things that would be very nice if it happened but is so terribly unlikely you don't want to dwell on it**.

Only it was contacted within a couple of weeks, and asked to have a telephone interview. And then it was, to our great surprise, offered a job - a job at the better of the two facilities. We sort of stood around all gobsmacked for a while until one of us (me) realized the other of us (Child) had better do a few things about insuring its scholarship wasn't roughly pulled out from under it, lining up plane tickets, figuring out logistics and the like.

Of course, the actual start date was months and months away. So far away that it was, once again, in the realm of the mythical.

Right up until about last month when I realized my baybee, my first-born, my own Child what I reared myself by hand, was LEAVING. As in going away for months and months and, here's the tricky bit, kinda sorta not coming back. Because we both agreed that this was a good moment to sort of make that first, desperate, wing-flapping leap out of the nest, and that when it finished its internship it would be finding a house/apartment and living on its own.

So Child, a few weeks ago, made its last sugary coffee beverage, stuffed half its bedroom into two suitcases and flung itself into a friend's car for a month-long road trip before facing the grim world of full employment and self-sufficiency.

It will be back for three days*** and then it boards a plane and realio-trulio heads out on its own.

It didn't even have the common decency to sniffle as it went out the door.

*Our town does claim a "beach" but as it is a) man made, b) less than 100 yards long [well, any one bit of it] and c) freshwater and full of stocked, farm-reared fish I refuse to even consider it. However, I do think it's funny that one may purchase postcards showing a tan young person surfing a ginormous wave with, "greetings from [local] beach!" in large, unconvincing lettering across the front.

**mythical events such as, say, a labor department actually doing what it is supposed to do...

*** During which time it is meant to take a hike with a friend, complete the "cleaning" it supposedly did of its room (into which its sibling moved the very evening it departed), visit all of its dear friends and relations and re-pack its belongings for the flight out.

NB - this internship may just require that Child 1 greet all and sundry with a sunny smile and the injunction to, "Have a Magical Day!" If this were Child 2 we're all agreed that there would be blood and mayhem within three days. However, Child 1 will not only willingly do this, it will MEAN IT.


MitMoi said...

Absolutely fantastically wonderful! (for child1)

I completely identify with Child2's attitude if roles were reversed.

And good on you. Even if there are (surprising) empty nest syndrome results.

wheelsonthebus said...


Earthenwitch said...

I'm with Child 2, but good on Child 1 for getting a good start and sticking with it despite its magical potential...

kate said...

Good for Child 1!

CAR said...

Good luck Child 1! at least the positions aren't reversed.

Child 1 said...

WOOT! almost done with very long, hot road trip. I go "home" *sob* in a couple of days then head right out again.