Two years ago, I applied for a job. A really big sales job! Lots of money and lots of perks. It was a lot like the job I had before the boys were born. I was the second runner up and I did not get the job. I felt terrible about not getting it. It was such a blow to my ego.
However, since then I have thought many times that I was grateful not to get that job. It required traveling out of state for ten days for training up-front. Then working on the road and traveling to quarterly meetings out-of-town. At any point in time, I would have been maybe an hour away from Rocco and Zeke. The boys were four at the time. Looking back now, I would have missed so much. I am definitely a believer that everything happens for reason.
But last Thursday, I got an email from the same company wanting to know if I would be interested in interviewing for that same position again. At first, I was elated! I was just so excited that they remembered me! I felt like, "I told you that you should have hired me." Sorry, but it's true!
I spoke with Michael and we hastily/excitedly/preliminarily agreed to write her back and say "Yes!" The job paid a lot and, more importantly, it had a 401k. My previous 401k had stopped growing when the boys started growing.
I was initially excited to get back to my old life of swanky cocktail hours, schmoozing with the customers, meeting deadlines and quotas. New suits and high heels! Really important stuff! It would be so great to feel important again. It seemed like a fairy tale compared to my current projects of reorganizing my kitchen and volunteering in the classroom.
But, as the next two days passed, some sobering realities set in. It wasn't pretty.
If I got the job, I would be flying to Utah within a few weeks for the ten-day training class. That would have been right when the boys were coming home for summer vacation. Then I would be gone from them every day from 8 to 5, forever and ever. The great money would bebreached significantly by a nanny’s salary. I would also need to rely on the nanny, Michael, family and friends to get our life done while I traveled each quarter for the out-of-town meetings. Sure, I thought, "Women do this every day. Michael and I will work it out! Why can't we have it all?"
Then, I remembered one obvious reason. Rocco, my Type 1 diabetes buckaroo!
My stomach sank. How would I find a trustworthy someone in the next couple of weeks to care for him? Type 1 diabetes requires constant vigilance and never-ending care giving activities. For all the gory details, check out my friend Meri's post. She perfectly puts into words what a parent of a diabetic child goes through in a day. Click here to read her post.
So now, after reading that, can you see the dilemma too? How could I ever teach a wide-eyed, well-intentioned, twenty-five-year-old ALL of that within the next couple of weeks? How would we continually coordinate information between nanny, me, grandma, my sister and Michael? Something would for surely get messed up along the way. And a simple mistake with diabetes can have serious consequences.
Diabetes needs a home base for it's numbers. It needs a brain. Right now, I am that brain just as Meri is the brain for her operation of raising three children with Type 1 diabetes. If there are too many brains it just tempts fate of poorly controlled diabetes. I couldn't do that to him. The better we take care of Rocco now the less complications he will have in the future. Diabetes can affect your sight, your heart, liver, kidneys and limbs. This poor little guy is about to embark on a lifetime full of responsibilities. If I can help him with that now, do not care if I live in a fancy old folks home.
Plus, how would we train that person to understand that Rocco bites his nails when he is high and that the corners of his eyes get red when he is low? Also, he can't have peanut butter because it makes his blood sugar go to 300 .
What happens if he passes out because she didn't understand that when his blood sugar is 79, he can't go to play with his friends until he has some sugar? And then he can only play if he waits fifteen minutes while the sugar kicks in! try telling a new nanny who's trying to learn everything to make a six year old sit and watch his friend's play with his brother for fifteen or more minutes. It wouldn't even be fair to her.
What happens if he is hospitalized and I am in day six of a training class in Utah, several hours from home? What happens if I am at work an hour away and his port comes out? What happens if he gets dehydrated and his blood sugars go too low? What happens? What happens?
So I imagined all these dreadful scenarios, each one worse than the other. In each scenario, I am somewhere smiling and closing a sale while my boy is lying unconscious on the floor.
And I haven't even mentioned how my absence would affect Zeke! My little angel needs me still!
Then my mind drifted to the future. Diabetes can be more difficult for teenagers because hormones and stress cause blood sugars to rise and fall more than the fancy fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas! My friends are forever on their phones texting back and forth to their teens with adjustments to insulin because of their child's day of adrenaline-filled drum line practice and stress-filled test taking. Could I get all this done while also performing my very important job?
Would any of these terrible scenarios I have imagined ever come to pass? Realistically, probably and hopefully not. But, “what if?” Should I be limited by the "what ifs?" Maybe not, but this job came with a lot of variables. A lot of variables and no home base for all the numbers.
At first, Michael was on board with the job. He said he could handle being a home base for the numbers. he is wonderful with Rocco and has a deeper sense of responsibility than most people should. He said they could just call or text him if I wasn't available. I know for him it must have been so tempting to finally share the daunting burden of providing for the four of us. But, as we spoke of “what ifs”, we both agreed - it wasn't time yet. Today’s “what ifs” were just too scary for us both. He likes me to be the one to care for Rocco when he can't do it. For now, he trusts only me to handle his sons’ daily lives. That is worth more to him than sharing the money burden. He said, "We have a great life. Why ruin it?" I told you he was a peach!
When I asked my mom for advice, she simply said in so many words, "2012 Shari can no longer be 2002 Shari". She meant that 2002 was a different time without kids or diabetes. This helped me with my decision.
Will I get another chance at a sales career sometime in the future? Who knows? It may be that no one will want to hire a mom who hasn't worked as a sales rep in years? But, as I wrote a "Thank you but no thank you" email, my heart got lighter. I knew it was the correct decision for my family right now and for me personally. I won’t close any doors for the future, but for now I will wear my heels to Field Day at their school!
As for the funding of our retirement, I'm scrappy. We'll find a way. I still have to publish my book. Maybe I'll be on Ellen one day to pitch the book and thousands of people will upload it on their tablets.
For me, feeling important is when we get a 120 on Rocco’s blood sugar meter or when Zeke is asked to be a mentor in helping other students to behave because he is a "model student". It's when I can send Michael off on his day with clean clothes, two healthy, thriving boys and a happy, settled wife. Settled wife, settled life. Right?
Oh well, so we will be poor in our old age. Raising two boys who will be co-President's will be my investment opportunity. Who needs funds or bonds with cuties like these?
Hey, does anyone if Obama's parents live with him at the White House? And if that's true, you bet your sweet ass, as Rocco boards Air Force One I will still be on the tarmack yelling "honey, check your blood sugar before you take off!!". Poor kid...