Sir Mix-A-Lot

7 May

At dawn today, when Ann got up and I was still lying in bed, she asked, “Are you taking the job in California?”

I told her I was going to take it. That led us into a long conversation. At the end of it we’d decided a few things: we weren’t going to get divorced – but I was going to California in two months.

Even though the move will create a greater financial burden, I wasn’t going to recommit to the marriage from a place of fear, from playing it safe. Like I told Ann, “Sometimes you have to be bold.”

I’m pretty sure Ann isn’t sticking by me solely because of economic fear. I think on some level – maybe not the deepest – on some level she loves me and I love her.

I’d much rather make the cavalry charge for my family’s sake, instead of fighting to only benefit myself.

We haven’t told Devon yet. My guess is he’ll be torn, wanting to go with me, but not wanting to hurt his mother. I’m going to make the move during his Easter vacation break so we can drive out together and he can be part of the process of looking for an apartment inVentura. Then I’ll put him on a plane for the first time by himself and he’ll fly back to Jersey.

It’s weird, to decide not to divorce, and then simultaneously decide to live on opposite coasts.  I need to prove I have faith in myself – not to fool myself with certainty, but to have faith that I’ll make the best effort.

I was thinking today: If you don’t have faith in yourself, who can you have faith in?

 

• • •

 

This Saturday morning at breakfast we told Devon that I’d be moving toCalifornia.

He was crushed, saying, “You’re going to leave me?” fighting hard to hold back the tears.

I told him we’d time it so we’d drive out together during his Easter break, and that he’d spend the summer with me. He has no great love for New Jersey- he’d pack and move in a minute. Ann isn’t going to budge for a long while, if ever.

So Devon was stuck in the middle, not wanting to see his father go, and not wanting to leave his mom.

He locked himself in his room and got under the covers. I tried to talk to him through the door but he wouldn’t answer. The door was ajar a crack and I could see him staring at nothing, a real look of abandonment and fear in his eyes. It was horrible.

A night and a day later I decided I wasn’t going to California after all. The family is too fragile emotionally and financially to hold up under the pressure.

Monday morning I told them I wasn’t taking the west coast position.

My chuckle-headed boss said, “I’m happy for you that your marriage isn’t breaking up, but if you change your mind, or if something happens – not that I want it to – the job is still yours.”

(2005)

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