While there is the inevitable stress of being out of work, I take solace in a recent quip by Joan Rivers: “The most important thing [is] you cannot show your child you can be defeated in life.”
Granted, the hardships Joan was referring to – the suicide of her husband and her firing from Fox – were far different and tragic, but the attitude and resolve are what Deb and I adhere to. Whether we are optimistic by nature or not, the “face” we show our kids is very important.
The other morning our middle one asked Deb: “Where’s daddy?”
Deb: “In the city.”
Middle child: “Did he get a job?”
Deb: “Not yet. He’s looking.”
Middle child: “I don’t want you to get a job! I want you to be home!”
Clearly, the stress of seeing both of us searching for full time work has manifested itself in a troubling way. Deb, on the verge of an offer, was extra sensitive to such pronouncements.
It’s within this dynamic that we treat our son’s expression of feelings about our situation very carefully. Too much optimism and we risk not sharing some important lessons. Too much gloom and we risk having that combine with whatever anxiety they may already be feeling. The balance is tricky. We are upbeat, positive and use humor in our daily life. We are much more introspective and try to discuss the uglier side of our situation in private (notwithstanding this blog of course!) But above all, we heed Joan’s advice and we only hope it elicits half the laughter she’s provided all these years.
Blessing: Our wonderful neighbor who babysat for us this past weekend, which made up for the night out we missed thanks to lice a few weeks ago. Thanks, Sarah! You’re the best!