I think most people know that TJ has been pretty unhappy with her job over the past several months. She’s been working 13 – 15 hour days nearly 5 days a week and it takes a toll on her and on our family. And I’m not always the most understanding partner when it comes to things like that. I know, try to contain your shock.
Mostly I think her manager takes advantage of her incredible sense of responsibility and desire to be the best, most reliable employee ever. When someone takes advantage of that, I get angry. And since I can’t take my anger out on her boss, it usually comes out directed at her. Yeah, I know, I suck. She knows it, too, but for some reason she still keeps me around.
She’s in Dallas this week, where her idol, Ron, works. Ron offered her a job. A really good job developing programs. You know, the thing she’s wanted to do for years. But the job is in Dallas which is really far away from our family. TJ wants the job badly and it doesn’t hurt that it was 80 degrees there yesterday. She told me she laid on the grass for a half an hour during her lunch break, just basking in the sun. Go ahead, picture that. A 40 year old woman in business casual clothing laid out on the grass in a business sector.
As much as I know she wants this job, and how good it would be for her, there’s no way she’ll ever take it. We just can’t do it. We moved to Milwaukee to be close to family, to be a part of a family, and to raise a family. Micah is so attached to his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins, that we couldn’t move him. While TJ and I deal pretty well with being isolated, we never wanted that for Micah. We want him to know the security and love of a large family. It’s too important.
My grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins were the best part of my growing up. They made me feelÂ and safe and a part of something larger than myself, which was something that I rarely felt when I was at home. My parents are good grandparents and I want Micah to know how that feels; to have people in his life whose main function is to spoil him and teach him things that TJ and I can’t. My brothers, sister, and in-laws are very loving and giving with Micah and it brings a new dimension to my relationships with them. I find myself loving and respecting them even more when I see the love they have for my son. And the joy that Micah feels when he’s with his cousins is heartwarming. It’s honest and genuine and that’s how I felt with some of my cousins when I was young. I don’t know what I would have done without Janie and Christy sometimes. Or my grandfather. Or my Aunt Jan. I don’t think she knows just how much I love her and how much her love meant to me. She treated me like no one else and I’ll never forget that. Ever.
So, while I’m terribly sad that TJ can’t take advantage of this opportunity, I’m so happy that she’s willing to make the sacrifice for us. Her family. There was a time when she would have made a different choice.