by: Rebecca Taylor
Shannon Harper watched the seconds tick by on her watch; she had been offered a huge promotion at the bank where she worked, she had been a teller for five years, then she moved up to customer assistance where she helped clients open accounts, learn about investments etc. for the last three. Now the Bank of Scotsville wanted her to move to another city and work as an accounts manager. She was excited that they wanted her to do the job, it was another step up the corporate ladder to where she may some day want to be, but she did not know if she wanted to move four hours away to a place where she knew no one. She also didn’t know if she should be asking her husband Albert, seven‑year-old son Shane and four-year-old daughter Courtney to be making this move with her. Albert worked from home as a graphic designer but even so, it was unfair to ask him to pick up his life and to ask the children to leave the school and friends that they knew. Albert said he was willing and nothing had been said to the children, the move would mean a substantial salary increase and they could do very well even though the cost of living in Scotchtown was slightly higher than where she was now in Scots Hill. This was a huge opportunity and Shannon knew that there were other bank employees who would take it in an instant if she didn’t. It was Thursday afternoon and the bank needed to know by the next morning, she had been thinking about it all morning and she was having so much trouble trying to decide what she wanted. Life was so complicated when such a decision was upon you; she didn’t want to toss aside a chance that may never come her way again. If the opportunity had presented itself at her current bank then she would have said yes in an instant, even if she had to commute each day. The decision would be easy but having to uproot herself from a place where she had grown up, gone to school, got married, had children and worked so long was a major choice to make and she didn’t feel ready to make it even after almost a week of thoughts, lists, talking and long sleepless nights.
It would be childish to toss a coin or pull on the petals of a daisies, this isn’t high school any more, you can’t say if someone walks around the corner in the next five minutes you’ll say yes to so and so’s offer to go to the dance and otherwise the answer is a no. That usually backfires anyways. I need to look at this reasonably, this is an amazing chance, and the extra money could give my children opportunities they may not have otherwise. If they need braces or eyeglasses down the road, this will help me afford them. Between the salaries that Albert and I both get we do well for ourselves but we can do better. Not only is this an amazing opportunity but they are offering me better benefits, I will five weeks vacation instead of three each year which means that we could go someone in the summer and I could still have time off for myself when they are in school. My parents are here but four hours away isn’t terrible if we left after work on a Friday night we could get here around nine and spend all day Saturday and go back late Sunday night and if the Monday is a school and bank holiday that would make for a nice weekend. The kids though, they love their school and they have some really good friends, I don’t want to take that away from them even though if we visited a lot of weekends, they would still be able to see each other. It all comes down to do I accept this chance which could better all of our lives or do I keep going and doing this job that I love and we live on what means we have making out okay. I’m going to drive myself crazy, here I am sitting in the park, thinking all these thoughts and still I can’t make up my mind. This is useless I might as well go home face my family and we can all talk this out together…rationally…I hope.
In the tastefully decorated living room of the Harper home, Shannon and Albert sat on the sofa with Shane and Courtney.
“Hey guys,” said Shannon, “your dad and I are thinking about moving, what do you guys think about that?”
“Leave here?” asked Shane.
“Yes,” replied Shannon, “this house and your school and Scots Hill and go live in Scotchtown where I would have a new job at a different bank.”
“What about my friends?” asked Shane.
“We’d come back and visit them and Grammy and Gramps and Nana and Pops on weekends, not every weekend, but lots of them. We would make lots of new friends,” said Albert.
“I like my old friends.”
“Take Courtney’s teddy bear?” asked the four year old.
“Yes, we’d take your teddy bear and all the things we need, we should probably get rid of the things we won’t use anymore…” said Shannon scooping Courtney up into her lap.
“Do you want to move, Dad?” asked Shane.
“I want to give your mom a chance to have her new job; I work from home so I will still be doing the same things I am now. Your mom and I will be there when you go to school in the morning and I will be there to pick you up at school. We might even try to find a house with a big backyard so we could get that dog you guys have been wanting.”
Shannon shot a glance at Albert; they hadn’t talked about getting a dog at their new place. They had decided that moving would be a great opportunity and occasionally they discussed the benefits of children having pets but they had definitely not said anything about the big backyard. Albert pretended not to notice.
“A dog, you mean it Dad?”
“We’d have to get settled first, but in time we could have a dog,” answered Shannon taken in by her son’s enthusiasm.
“Doggy,” said Courtney.
“That’s right a dog, Court, we could play with him and feed him and take him for walks, I’ve always wanted a dog.”
“So the move is on?” asked Shannon.
“I guess so, but we have to come back here lots.”
“We can come back to Scots Hill but we can’t come back to this house, it won’t be ours anymore. Somebody else will buy it and make it theirs. We’ll have a new house of our own.”
“Will I still have my own room and be able to have my friends come over?”
“Yes, we will be looking for a house and will make sure that it is big enough for all of us but not too big to take care of.”
“When are we moving?” asked Shane.
“It won’t be for a little while yet, I have to talk to my boss at the bank in the morning and see when I start my new job, and we might have to find an apartment just for a little while until we get all set up; selling this house and finding a new one.”
“What are you going to do at your new bank Mommy?”
“I’m going to be an accounts manager that means that I help people and look after lots and lots of paperwork.”
“Are you going to like working with paper?”
“I think so, now go and get your homework, the school year is almost done, and I want to finish it on a good note.”
“Will I like my new school?” he asked.
“We’ll go look at it soon, everything is going to be just fine, we’ll all be together, and we will even have a dog eventually. You’re good at making friends, don’t you worry.”
That night after Shane and Courtney were in bed, Shannon and Albert sat on the sofa talking about the day.
“You could have asked me about the dog, I couldn’t say no and we don’t know what kind of a place we’re going to be able to find,” berated Shannon.
“Come on, Shan, you know that we’ve talked about it enough times. They’re old enough now and I’m home all the time. We won’t have to worry about coming home and having a wrecked house. You just concentrate on being a good accounts manager, my paperwork queen and we will all be very happy.”
“Paperwork queen!” exclaimed Shannon.
“Well isn’t that what you told our son that you were going to do lots and lots of paperwork.”
“Yes, and I am but my role will be bigger than that and you know it. This is very big opportunity; these kinds of chances don’t come up everyday.”
“I know, I was just teasing.”
“Good thing you work from your computer no matter where you are or else this could be a lot more complicated.”
“You’re apprehensive about this move too aren’t you?”
“Anyone would be even if they didn’t have two kids to worry about.”
“We’ll make out fine, you’ll see.”
“I know we will, I guess it’s just when you’ve lived somewhere for your whole life, it is hard to imagine living somewhere else. You go from knowing everyone who walks into your workplace and you meet all your friends in the grocery store and stuff to knowing nobody.”
“You’re good with names and faces and all of that, you’ll adapt quickly.”
“I’ve spent this whole week with indecision and now that we’ve finally made a decision, I don’t know if it is the right choice or not.”
“You worry about making the choice and once you’ve made it you still don’t know if you’ve made the right now. That’s indecision for you.”
“Life is full of it, sometimes it is the stuff that makes dreams,” answered Shannon laughing. Everything was going to turn out even though the thought of so many changes was nerve wracking and no matter what she did or where she went in her life, there would be obstacles, indecision would only be one of them.