Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Quitting my job is ‘good news’

FRIDAY, September 24 – ‘I have some good news,’ I said to the boys, after summoning them to the dinner table. ‘I’m taking on a new job at NOS News. Right now I’m not exactly sure what. The most important thing is that I’m stepping down as deputy editor-in-chief, so that I’ll have more time to spend with you guys.’

Call it paternal spin-doctoring. Disguise the bad news by presenting it as a positive development. Mission accomplished:  the boys are ecstatic.

Fortunately, they also have questions.

‘Are you going to make less money?’

‘Yes, but we can handle that. We probably won’t even feel it.  We’ll go on living in this house, you’ll be going to the same school, and there won’t be any cuts in food or clothing.’

Sander: ‘Do you have to hand in your iPhone?’

‘Nope, it was written off ages ago and I’ll probably be allowed to keep the laptop. So as far as high tech is concerned, we don’t have anything to worry about.’

The kid has his priorities.

I’m feeling almost enthusiastic myself now that they’ve accepted the decision that’s been the product of months of wrestling with myself. I tell them we’re going to announce the news at the staff meeting on Monday. This is followed by a long silence, as if the impact of the announcement has just penetrated.

‘Do you want us to come with you when you tell everyone?’ Sander asks and Eamonn quickly adds, ‘Yeah, we want them to know we’re behind you.’

Very sweet, but I decline.

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