I stare at the phone in complete bemusement. Out of the tiny little speaker -- and as a side note Apple is completely F.O.S. regarding any claims made whatsoever regarding the quality of the speakers on an iPhone 4s -- comes the ringing endorsement of my eldest for the value of finishing high school. For years I have said this. I must have said it a thousand times in at least fifty different ways. Let's not even count the many times DrC attempted to make the point. Yet somehow what was really required to set the notion deeply into her, to bait the line of awareness and set the hook of desire for this change of heart in a rebellious soul, was apparently a few weeks of semi starvation.
Jaime has been in Queenstown out of the bosom of her loving family for less than two weeks. As near as we can tell, she has spent less than five dollars a day since her arrival. Piecing together the story, it appears she is living on oatmeal, Devonport bush honey (filched with permission on her way out of town) and watery soup. It could be a Dickens tale. She has made friends, hustled a work for accommodation deal, and announced today the welcome news that she landed a full time cafe job. Clearly she is on her way.
Never ever let it be said that of my offspring that any one of them is less than astonishingly capable. Their strengths are so different as to make it almost impossible to compare them. Mera, the artist and academic. Aeron, the warm soul who everyone loves to the bone. And Jaime, the survivor. Jaime is the one you want at your back in the Zombie Apocolypse or on a boat in a storm. It really doesn't surprise me how rapidly she is adapting to her new home and the razor edge thin means and prospects. But just because I am not surprised doesn't mean I am not amazed and impressed and proud.
On the other hand, I wouldn't be human if I didn't harbor at least a little resentment at her latest announcement. She wants to finish her last few credits to achieve NCEA Level 3. Seriously? Now you want to do that? Nearly three years of begging for nought and now this dramatic about face? We have seen her take a run at this before, but something tells me this time it will be sticky.
DrC is more reserved in his enthusiasm. As I said, we have been here before. Toast the Mom isn't particularly optimistic either. But Toast the Change Manager is more bullish. All theory, data, and practical experience tell me the new found determination will be sticky. Putting aside the resentful, exhausted mom in me for a moment, the Change Manager sees two things: 1) this stint of borderline starvation has driven her way the hell past 5 on the Desire scale; and 2) Jaime finally understands and believes in the high school graduation WIIFM.
So you go, beautiful girl. Get that job, find a flat, make new mates, finish those last few credits. Keep calling and SnapChatting. Your entire family misses you so much it is almost a physical pain. I only wish we had kicked you out sooner.