How are you with change?
I'm pretty good with it. This may have something to do with me being shallow. In my adult life, I've moved from city to city about every five years. If we didn't move, I would get a little antsy, like I needed something new, something different.
That has faded some as I get older. We've been in Columbus now 15 years! But we have lived in three different houses in three different parts of the city.
|Grace is exhausted by change even at age 1.|
My daughter Grace hates change, but she's working on it. The other day I had an epiphany and called to tell her why she hates change. We lived in four different houses before her 1st birthday. That's the year we moved from Sebring, Florida to Tampa, Florida then Jackson, Michigan where we lived in an apartment for a few months before closing on our first house and moving into it. Four houses and the chaos that goes with it probably led to her aversion to change.
Our household has dealt with recent changes as first Grace, then Spencer graduated high school and marched off to faraway colleges. Grace accepted change once again when she transferred to a college closer to home.
But in the coming year, we'll face an even bigger change, not just Tucker graduating and going off to college, but Earl's work schedule is changing.
Earl has been working evenings for nearly five years.
It was on Tucker's 13th birthday that we learned the newspaper would have layoffs. We held our breath to see if Earl would lose his job. Luckily, he didn't, but he did move jobs from assistant city editor to copy editor. We felt fortunate that he would have a job at all with the way the newspaper business was going. And the company left his salary the same. All he lost was a free parking space.
|Tucker at age 13.|
The new job as copy editor required Earl to work evenings rather than days. In his previous job, he'd go in to work at 10 a.m. and come home at 8 or 9 p.m.
When he switched, five years ago, he started to work 3-11 p.m. or 4-midnight, sometimes even 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
From the time Tucker was 13, Earl has been absent in the evenings. Now as Tucker begins the downhill slide to 18 and his last semester of high school, Earl will switch to day times again and begin working as a reporter.
He's okay with moving to the reporter position. Working as a copy editor was good because he worked his eight hours then came home and put it behind him. As a reporter, the job won't go away quite that easily. He may work longer hours and he may continue to do work at home, but he will be here in the evenings.
That may mean I have to fight for the remote on the nights that The Bachelor
or The Amazing Race
air. That probably means I'm going to see a lot more old movies or specials on airplanes on television.
|Hottie Juan-Pablo appears on The Bachelor|
starting in January.
I'll probably need to start making dinner regularly too. Between me and Tucker, I sometimes make a pot of macaroni and cheese or bake a pizza that he can eat whenever he gets hungry. With my husband home, I'm probably going to feel obligated to cook real meals again.
Things will change for Tucker too. When he got old enough to drive, he started coming home from school for lunch. Since I teach college, sometimes I am home and sometimes not, but Earl is almost always home. He cooks grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for Tucker, or slathers peanut butter and jelly between slices of bread. Tucker then takes his lunch and turns on ESPN for his 30-minute lunch.
This Wednesday, I had a meeting at 11:30. Earl had a meeting too.
At 11:47, my phone rang.
"Where is everybody?" Tucker asked.
I explained the meeting situation and then told Tucker he'd better get used to it since Earl moved to days in January and I was scheduled to work at least 3 days during the week.
"Do you mean I'm going to have to make my own lunch?" Tucker asked.
"That's how it looks," I said.
I knew Earl never should have started making Tucker's lunch. Now he's just looking for a handout every day at noon.
I'm sure we'll all get through the changes coming our way. Until then, I'm keeping the remote and I'll probably make sure Tucker gets lunch through next week anyway.