Random thought for the day: it suddenly occurred to me that we moved to North Carolina at the very beginning of Summer. So we got to experience the entirety of the hot, sticky time—in theory, at least, as everyone kept assuring us it was much, much milder than usual. Now we’re entering our second season, which is one of my favorites. I just looooove the cooler, crisper Fall weather, the eye-popping foliage, the pumpkin…everything. And since the boys’ Progress Reports just came out, detailing how they’ve been doing in school these first 4-1/2 weeks, it seems as good a time as any for a Team WestEnders Evaluation as well.
First up, Husband, who gives every indication of having adjusted seamlessly to the whole “working from home” model. Without his up-to-two-hours in the car every day, he has enjoyed much more control over his daily agenda. In concrete terms, this has meant he can manage his teleconferences, client phone calls, and…all that other stuff he does…while still taking time to meander approximately four steps into the kitchen for a ramen-noodle lunch break, or even hitting ‘pause’ on his work activities to go for a mid-morning run if the weather is particularly nice. As he expressed it to me one day, “I’m getting more sleep…and I have time to read, now!” And yes, I’m also absolutely delighted (not to mention relieved) to report that he has agreed to fully comply with the strict “You MUST wear pants on the job…even if your immediate family members are the only ones who will see you!”
Moving on to Derek, who appears to have bonded with his Bus Stop Buddies--although honestly the amount of homework he and his friends have to wade through every night generally precludes them from hanging out after school. He did take in his first high school event, a soccer game (surprised? anyone?) between his Chapel Hill Tigers and their “crosstown” rivals, the East Chapel Hill Wildcats. (And by the way, does anyone else instantly start hearing the High School Musical soundtrack in their head? What team? Wildcats! No? Just me, then…)
We actually had a bit of a…thing…about his attending the match. His friend from across the street invited him to go, and also ride with him. But I felt weird about that, never having met ANY of the family. We’ve also never had the experience of letting Derek go somewhere without parental supervision…oh, and the game was “away” (even if only 2 miles) at the other school, where none of us has ever been. So basically it meant sending my kid off with strangers…to an unfamiliar place…by himself. Yeah, Mom just couldn’t handle that. The compromise we proposed was that Husband would drive him and stay to watch the game…but Derek did NOT have to sit with him…or even acknowledge his presence in ANY way. (This meant Riley got recruited to keep his father company, resulting in an empty house and a few hours of peace and quiet for me…now that’s what I call a WIN-WIN!)
Next there’s Riley…halfway through the first quarter, he’s found a posse to hang out with on his daily “commute” to school. Apparently they’ve figured out the schedule of which kid comes out of their house at what time, and they arrange their walk to pick up everyone at their driveway as they pass. (That’s my kid: Mr. Logistics.) In fact, the other day as he left for school Riley announced over his shoulder, “Gotta go! Time to meet my homies!” Fortunately the door shut behind him too quickly for him to witness me snorting my coffee. I just don’t have the heart to tell him he can’t possibly have “homies”…he’s far too…um, "suburban"…for that.
Otherwise he seems to be handling the increased autonomy and workload of middle school pretty well. For example, he told me that today he’d volunarily chosen to stay in for recess (give me a second to let that sink in…) and knock out some of his math assignment. As I processed this nearly incomprehensible information, I managed to mumble, “Um…nice job, honey?” Then I gave up and asked, “Okay…WHY would you do that?” He matter-of-factly stated, “Because I have soccer practice tonight, and the Orioles playoff game is on, and I wanted to make sure to get it done so I can still have some free time to watch. (Yep, that’s his other name: Mr. Responsible.)
As for me, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my life—well, the part where someone pays me, anyway. To this end, I revamped my resume to highlight skills I’ve used in previous jobs…while not actually searching for a position in those fields. I know, it’s confusing--for everybody, apparently. I posted my brand new, improved...“here’s what I can do for you”document…online at various job sites. I got one email about a Publication Specialist…that sounds (at least sort of? maybe close enough?) like what I’m talking about! Aaannnd… I don’t know how these things work, but I haven’t heard anything further. (Patience, we may have already established, is NOT among my list of virtues...)
Meanwhile, I’ve received several other inquiries—from companies that contacted me using BOTH email AND phone number—about …”franchise opportunities” in something to do with “medical blah blah blah” (spa, maybe? who knows)…and (wait for it…) “sales” at a “banking/insurance” firm. What. The. Heck? I’m sorry, where in my illustrious employment history, career goals, or professional skills and abilities does it mention a word about wanting to own a business…or sell anything…to anyone? (Oh-kay...and now I have the John Cusack speech from Say Anything in my head...sigh...) But seriously, are you people even bothering to READ my finely-crafted, painstakingly constructed resume? Jeesh! (The odd nature of this—what I can only assume is the equivalent of robo-fishing-for-candidates—had me returning to each of the sites, to check if I had somehow, I don’t know, slipped while typing and presented myself as a Retail/Marketing/Finance…person. I had not. I remain stymied.)
And that, in a (very large and…verbose) nutshell, is where we stand in early October. Thankfully, the hour has arrived for me to savor a pumpkin ale in front of a post-season baseball game where both the on-field crew and the stands are chock-full of the seasonally-appropriate orange-and-black…Let’s go, Os!