#chances

Shane and Max my office

Kimba, our 130 pound mutt, and I used to have a morning ritual – we would go in to wake up Max for school. Then we would head downstairs to check on Shane. I noticed that Kimba was getting a little white around the snout, like me. I said to Max, “When I get old, can I come and live with you?” He said, “Mom, I think that is going to completely ruin my chances at ever getting a girlfriend.” (It didn’t.)

Shane never had to be woken up for school; he would be up and making coffee before Max and I grumbled down the stairs. Max is like me. We are not very good at mornings. Max and I butted heads frequently around that time, when both he and Shane were in high school. Once, after a particularly rough morning fight, I said to him, “Max, what do you think is the most important thing in life?” I was hoping he would say something like getting along or seeing the other person’s point of view. Instead, he said, “The most important thing in life is getting a wife.” I said, “Why?” He said, “So she can make me a sandwich when I am too tired to get off the couch after a fight with my mom.”

It’s  been a few years since what I call the sandwich-feminist debacle. Max and Shane’s dad and I have been divorced for a while. Kimba has been gone for a while as well. There are still (several) dogs in my house, and we wake up Max for school on the mornings he is at my house. And Max and I still grumble at each other as we muddle through our mornings.

And Shane – Shane moved to Oregon to go to school; it feels like an eternity away from me. He has been applying for jobs and after a few months, my usually optimistic son was a bit discouraged. “Mom, I didn’t think it would be this hard. I’m okay, I just didn’t think it would take this long.” He sent me his most recent cover letter to edit and I may be biased, but I would hire my son. “Now I am a college student, I have grown up a little bit and moved away from home. I am now seeking employment…. Beyond being steadfast, punctual, and detail driven, I would be a solid employee because I am eager to jump in. I want to learn and meet people and improve myself along with where I am in life. I look forward to your call.”

Dear Future Employer of My Son: You were once a young person trying to make your way in this world. It was freaking hard, remember? But someone gave you a chance and look at you now. Life is about chances. Chances at falling in love. Second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, hundredth chances. I am just asking for you to give my son a chance.

Maybe all we have are chances. To get up in the morning, even if you’re pissed off about it. To work. To get a girl(boy)friend. To fall in love. To fall in love again. To grow old. To be with kids and grandkids. To be happy. To have a sandwich made by someone who loves you when you’re too tired to get off the couch. To have someone who loves you wake you up in the morning. To live happily ever after.

Do it. Take a chance.

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