“What, mom?” my son asked as I heaved a huge sigh late Sunday afternoon.
“I hear you.” And of course he did! He was beginning a new job, starting with a new company, taking a reduction in pay to become established in a whole new state with so much uncertainty. Furthermore, in his journey to become a professional landscape architect, he is taking the “alternate route.”
In New Jersey (Is this true elsewhere? I don’t know.), a teacher jumps through lots of hoops in order to become certified if she or he has not attended college for a degree in education. I vaguely remember doing so myself. I do know it involved teaching three years in a fully-accredited school in a foreign country as equivalent to the student teaching required by a program. So like mother, like son.
Lots of study and an intense apprenticeship to finally test and become legitimate, that’s where he is now. He has spent the last month doing all those things a house sale requires, all the cosmetic repairs and moving, and Craig’s-listing what had remained. And saying goodbye to a raft of friends, his people for the past ten years.
Arriving here, he got a one-week reprieve. I watched him devote time to studying plants of the Pacific Northwest, sustainability issues, and DRAWING, DRAWING, DRAWING. What an amazing skill set to develop.
Now we were both facing Monday. I was worried about him because—mom.
When he got home, he recounted his experience in hardscaping that day, “It snowed at one point,”—coming from New Orleans, this is notable. That they laid barrier and gravel, grading and shoveling, “not too bad, though,” he conceded.
Then he began talking about his fellow worker, and enthusiasm, muted but present, emerged. “He’s a cool guy. Only 26 but knows his stuff. He’s married to someone older, I mean old enough that he has a stepdaughter his own age.” I’m processing this as he concludes: “He also is a body boarder and comes over here to Newport a lot. We’re gonna get together.”
Those words, those words, with those four words, my heart warms. In a new place with all that remains to be seen, there’s a glimmer of rising friendship on the horizon. What more could a mom want?