Wings and Roots

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#sol July 12, 2016

Wings and Roots

My sons have lived all over the world- that is a great thing and a hard thing on different occasions. I know one of my main jobs as a parent is to raise my sons to be independent- at the ages of 23 and 25, I can see the rationale for that. I could go on and on about the other jobs I felt I had as a parent (without any comment as to how successful I have/have not been in achieving these goals).

Both sons have always been fairly independent. They showed this in many ways large and small. When it came time for university (I was living in Berlin, Germany at the time) I tried to convince them to go to the UK, as it would be close and more reasonable priced. Neither was sold on that idea and both ended up at private universities in the US (although son #1 spent a year on exchange in Madrid). It actually worked out well that by coincidence son #1 went to school in the city where my mom lived- they developed a close relationship during that time. Son #2 ended up going to school in the city where my dad lived and they also developed a great relationship. Son #1 stayed in Boston after graduation and ended up living with my mom. She is the epitome of laid back, so it was really an easy way for him to pay less rent in an expensive city and he never felt stifled by living with her, nor a lack of independence. Son #2 ventured almost 2000 miles away from anyone he knew after graduation and began his independent life.

This week son #2 made a brave decision. He decided he is ready for a career change and a new location. About a year and a half ago he worked on a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. It was hard to complete as he worked full-time, as it involved lots of work and even practicums. When he finished he wanted to move to South Korea to teach. He pursued positions, but at the last minute was offered the possibility of increased responsibilities at his present job, so decided to stay put. Fast forward to the present and he is feeling frustrated at work. For a variety of reasons, this job was just not the right fit for him anymore. He reactivated his job search and went on interviews with local companies to stay in the same industry he has been working as the beer manager at a liquor store. Recently he decided to look for jobs as an English teacher. He decided that he would most like to work in South Korea and he worked with a recruiter. A few days ago he had an interview with several people at a school recommended to him by the recruiter. The afterschool program looked good and a friend of mine who had worked in South Korea as an English teacher years ago said it looked fine. Shortly after the  interview he got the call- he was being offered the job.

As any sensible person would, he asked for time to decide. He texted me excitedly to tell me he was offered the job, but he was still uncertain. Later that day an unreliable source told him that he was about to be offered a job at a firm locally that he liked. He was debating the pros and cons of each possibility, knowing that the rumored job was just that, a rumor. He kept asking me, “Do you think I should take it?” and I kept responding positively. I offered to send the contract on to my friend for her to examine, if he was feeling uncertain. I encouraged him to share his news with his dad (with my fingers crossed that his father would be positive). As I write this, it is Sunday night and his window to let the school know his decision is closing. Tonight when he comes home from his current job he is going to accept the offer. In just over a month he will be on his way to South Korea to start the next chapter of his life.

I recently told him, “No matter what, as always, I will be your rock.” He made mention of this last night as we walked home from a Red Sox game, “I know if anything goes wrong I have you, Grandma, and Dad who will help me out.”

He made mention of this last night as we walked home from a Red Sox game, “I know if anything goes wrong I have you, Grandma, and Dad who will help me out. It’s not like with other people who have to put tons of stuff in storage, take care of canceling lots of contracts, and get out of leases to move across the world.”

I smiled with a lump in my throat. My son has wings and roots. He knows that he has lots of people who will support him up close or at a distance and he has the courage to try something entirely new. One of the cool things is he will actually be on the same continent as me, which is a nice thing to know (even if it is still a 6 1/2 hour flight away). Phew, this job of mother is never simple.

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3 thoughts on “Wings and Roots

  1. sallydonnelly11

    Great to now have a glimpse into your family. I too am proud of my 2 daughters – both with strong wings and both who know they can always call or come home to there roots. Great title to go with a great post! I wish your sons all the best!

    Reply
  2. Dalila Eckstein

    Oh, Erica, how I know this conflicted space. Roots and wings are so beautiful, but sometimes hard on the momma (and child). As you know, my son lives in your part of the world. I’m so proud of him and his wings, and I feel relief that he also reaches out for his roots to comfort and help him, but the distance is great. I wish you and your son the best as he gets a little closer. 😊

    Reply
  3. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski

    I am in awe of how you are truly a citizen of the world…and your sons as well! How beautiful to have given them roots and wings. We all need to know we have that safe place to come home to. Bravo! 🙂

    Reply

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