Friday, May 20, 2005

Christina’s moving back to Florida

And she’s taking my grandson with her!

But you know… that’s OK.

She and her husband moved to South Texas, near where she was born and raised, just 20 months ago. They had spent the preceding 6 years in Key Largo and were ready for a change.

His job opportunities here haven’t been as good as he’d hoped, and they just suffered another setback as his plans for this summer were recently dashed through a communications problem (not his fault).

As you know, she found a job that she enjoyed more than just about any she’d had before. Then in January she was terminated. I’ve always contended it was simply a Reduction in Force (layoff), although the employer styled it as a firing for misconduct. But I’ve chronicled that whole story in earlier blog posts.

Since giving birth to Trevor she has found job opportunities for herself very limited here. Thank God we were able to prove there was no misconduct, and win her fight for unemployment benefits! Without that income their situation would have been tense at best.

The two of them (plus Trevor) had planned to visit friends in the Keys this summer. They contacted some folks they know in Tampa/Clearwater as well, and were told the area is booming with lots of opportunities. They checked it out.

Christina faxed her resume earlier this week to three Clearwater businesses that had listed openings on the internet. Today one of them called her. If she were there now, they would hire her! They are both very encouraged.

It will take them a few weeks to get their local affairs in order and make the move, but unless something changes they’ll leave in the middle of June.

So why is that OK?

She dreaded telling us that they were leaving, thinking that we’d be really disappointed that they didn’t “stick it out” here longer. And that we’d feel they were depriving us of contact with our grandson.

Carol and I reminded her that each of us had moved far away from our parents at various times in our marriage. We raised our two daughters far from my parents, and sometimes a long way from Carol’s. We told her that they needed to live their life for THEM, not for us. They needed to go where THEY wanted to go and do what they thought was the right thing.

“But what about Grandma?” Christina asked, concerned. Grandma (Carol’s mom) surprised her, saying it was probably better that they go where there were better opportunities. Thus encouraged they are ebullient, ready for the change.

They’ll get back occasionally and bring Trevor with them to visit his great grandma. And we’ll get to Florida once or twice a year to see them. Hey, there’s some great golf in the Tampa area! What a great excuse to go and play some of those courses.

This whole situation caused me to think of families who try to control other family members through the application of guilt.

It would have been really easy to pour guilt on Christina and her husband, pouting that she’d just teased us by having a grandbaby and then she was taking him away. We could have whined that she was being selfish, and after all we’d done for her! (Whatever that might have been.) She wasn’t looking out for her new son’s best interests!

If we were really good at it, and convincing, we might have caused them to change their minds and stay. But who would that benefit? No one.

I can’t understand families that operate that way, but I’ve seen quite a few. I hope you’re not involved in one of them.

1 comment:

Candace said...

Good for you! Besides, now you've got a nice place to vay-cay while you visit Trevor.