My son, the musician, just got off the phone—he said no to the Job.
The Job was a full-time position, teaching music in a New York City public school for 50 thousand dollars a year. Plus benefits. He is 24.
Sruli and I are biting our fists but we support him. He has a dream.
He wants to play his baritone saxophone all over the world. He has a groovy new solo act. He has his own band. He belongs to other bands. He is constantly performing, practicing, composing and sending out emails to promoters. He never watches TV or flomps around the house. He dates and sees friends and has a “best friend who is a girl” whom we adore. He has played in Poland, Canada, Italy, and all over the US. He has over 5 million hits on You Tube.
And he is very, very handsome.
Naturally, I am worried sick about him.
I couldn't do it. When I was his age, I wanted to be an actress so badly—the Joan Kusack-y best and funny friend of the Mila Kunis lead—but I didn’t have the nerve to leave my family, move to Hollywood and try my luck. And I was much cuter then. And thinner.
Religion played a big part, too.
I have told Zachary many times that this is his time. His time to dream.
Before you have a wife and kids, I urged. Realizing that when I was his age, I was married and he would be born two years later.
The funny thing about being a parent is that your kids think you can do anything and you kind of have to rise to it.
But lately, with Zachary, I am faltering.
His dreams are big and I have little time.
I promise him the moon; I can’t seem to make him a star.
I am crazy busy with my new life and getting everybody settled, and he is right in front of me, doing his Kundalini Yoga each morning, practicing, emailing and dreaming.
I know the true story of Vikram Seth, who lived on his parents’ porch in India for five years, writing his first novel. I wonder what his Mother was thinking, year two, year three, year four—and how she felt when he sold that novel, “A Suitable Boy,” for a million dollars.
I hope I will have a lot in common with Mrs. Seth. I hope I have her patience and her optimism.
I wonder every minute, every cotton pickin’ minute if I should put aside my own puny dreams of getting a book published and going on tour as an author: “The Jewish, Female, Straight David Sedaris!” and just sit all day making phone calls for him instead of kvetching out a few minutes here and there to write even my blog.
Right now I just give advice, rework an email, kvell over his new video.
And feed him.
Sometimes I wish the phone would ring for me and offer me a job, teaching music to children, for fifty thousand dollars, plus benefits.
But I don’t know if I would say yes, either.