Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Westward, Ho!

On a cold and snowy Tuesday afternoon several weeks ago, our family got a much-needed and not wholly unwelcome kick in the ass. 

I and all seven of my departmental colleagues were called to an unexpected meeting with the VP. The company had decided to restructure, and our (clearly sales) department would now report to the VP of Logistics. Our entire department would be moved to our American location. The move itself isn't that surprising - they merged with a US company eight years ago and are gradually transferring everything there. The timing, though.... the timing sucks. First, we all thought we had a few more years. Second, they are closing our department at the end of the summer. Because no-one will need to move and no-one has kids starting school then <eye roll>.

My first thought was "I'm free!" My second was that I felt like I was back in high school, at 3:02 on a sunny summer day... "will he just shut up already and let us leave?" But Mr. VP droned on, and on, and on, explaining the reasons that everyone had, just five minutes prior, ceased to give a damn about. He seemed to be looking for absolution.

But see...here's where the silver lining shines.  S and I have been talking about moving west, but we were held here by my job and our daycare situation. We weren't quite ready to leave stable ground and leap into the unknown without a safety net. With my severance package, we have a safety net. We can leap...but leap where?

Our current plan is for S to get a job in his field and I will follow, and we will use my severance for a down payment.. That plan needs to locked down by the end of May, or we need to move to plan B, which is to look into the possibility of my company transferring me to a position out west. It's already been raised to me by two separate managers, so it is a distinct possibility- I'd get a paid move, a job I didn't particularly want, and no severance package. So bye-bye house ownership. Plan C would be to stick a pin in the map, polish our resum├ęs, and rent a moving van.

So...yeah, that's where we are, with every thing up in the air. I HATE it when everything is up in the air. I like to have it all neatly laid out on a colour-coded spreadsheet that I will probably never refer to again once I enter a value in the final cell. Most of my big decisions may be emotionally-driven and somewhat sudden, but I like to trick myself into thinking I am being logical and well-informed. I hate that I can't even start lying to myself about this one until we know where we are going!

Of course, Panda is devastated. She doesn't want to leave her friends, her school, her life here. I don't either - I finally have some fantastic girlfriends and I'd like very much to keep them. Pickle, who's four, might be a little young to process it all, but he definitely doesn't want to go kindergarten next year (here he would have one more year at daycare, in any other province he will start school.) S is pretty excited, I think.

I guess am too. Nervous about the logistics of it all, but excited. We are long overdue for a change, and this will our last upheaval until the kids are grown.

Well, except for that whole foster/adoption thing! 


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Imprimatura and Talk-back Tuesday

I'm sorry.

I suck at consistent effort, and if I don't want this little corner of babble to go the way of the dodo, then I need to make some changes. I need to take off the filter and write whatever comes to mind, whether or not I think it will be marginally interesting to others (or even readable.) It's like 'blank canvas fear', sometimes you just have to slap an imprimatura on that sucker and go for it.

I realized last week that my son's year has approximately 260 more days than everyone else's year. He is certain that he sleeps overnight at the daycare every weekday, and nothing we say will convince him that it is just a nap. I would be so much more productive if I had 260 more days in my year! Wait, no I wouldn't. I'd probably just complain that winter was even longer now and spend all my time surfing Netflix and cuddling kids.

(Belated) Gung Hei Fat Choy, everyone! I wish you all a happy and prosperous Year of the Sheep. We bundled the kids up warmly and took them down to Chinatown to watch the lion dance last weekend. I swear that Panda got so close a couple times that she might as well have joined the troupe. She is fascinated by the dancing and drumming, and I love that she gets so into it.




And of course no day in Chinatown in complete without indulging in a huge lunch or wheedling of a cheap toy out of the parents. Pickle chose a Chinese fan, and now he runs around constantly asking everyone if they are too hot, because what else would we be during the frigid February frost? But he loves fanning us all so much that we just go with it and try not to get our noses swiped off while he developed his notion of relative distances between fan and face.  Panda chose Digimon cards, because she so obsessed with that show that she solemnly named our TV cabinet "The Crate of Destiny." (Which is awesome, and it shall henceforth be referred to as such.) I get her point - special, predestined kids without parental oversight who have cute, furry little animal BFFs that talk and kick serious ass, what's not to like? (I mean, besides stilted dialogue and terrible animation.) But I think the aspect that really draws her is the idea that friendship and teamwork triumph over all evils, and that everyone is redeemable. And that just makes me want to hug her sweet little self until she squeaks.

Panda's birthday is approaching, and our gift to her is Frozen on Ice tickets. Her little brother gets to go as well, and she can choose to either have both parents or one friend  - I'd totally choose the friend, but she is big on family outings, so we'll see. She also seems to be having a bit of a hard time deciding which friend to ask. She's narrowing her choices by criterion of who would enjoy it the most, and not by whom she most wants to spend time with- which is a bit worrisome. Don't get me wrong, I love that she is so empathetic. I just worry about the future implications of that when she hits teen-hood.

This will be her third 'no-gifts' birthday party. The rule is she can invite as many friends as she wishes, but they won't bring her gifts (she still gets presents from family.) What do you think? Would you do a giftless party for your child, or do you feel that opening a mound of presents is an integral part of the childhood birthday party experience? Do you feel awkward showing up without a gift, even when it's requested? Talk to me this Tuesday!