Cheerios & Airplanes

The bad news around here is coming with the same regularity as the morning newspaper.

The condo association is coming after us for not being able to pay the special assessment. They’ve issued another special assessment for maintenance due in January. Our credit card that we use for emergencies was canceled WHILE we were fixing up my car. Two days later, the same car may need even more expensive repairs. We keep trying to refinance our mortgage and we keep getting rejected. Soon we’ll be paying more bills than we have income.

I feel like I’m stuck in debt quicksand while creditors with sharp, pointy sticks jab at me as I sink.

Yesterday, as I tried to work from home because I couldn’t drive my car, I was feeling mighty sorry for myself and enjoying a pity party for one. Until Will came to the rescue.

We live near a military base. They used to be home to a bunch of F-15 jets (the same ones that first responded to NYC after Sept. 11) but even though they’re gone now, we still get a bunch of Jayhawks and Coast Guard planes flying around. Yesterday we heard one that was particularly loud and it startled Will. He frantically ran over to me, near tears, and I picked him up and held him and told him everything was OK.

Then he looked at me, pointed up to the sky, and said “Dada. Airplane.”

Shortly thereafter I had a similar moment when I tried to give him some pineapple for breakfast. He pushed it away with a disgusted look on his face and said “Nooo.” So I asked him what he wanted and he starts pointing toward the fridge. I told him he had to tell me what he wants, not point. He made some unintelligible noise which left us no closer to eating breakfast. Finally I asked him one more time what he wanted, and in a voice clear as day he said:


For a brief moment, I managed to grab one of those pointy sticks I’m being poked with and I used it to fight my way out of the quicksand. And I felt like I could fight back and make it work, which is a feeling I haven’t had lately. When you’re both working full-time jobs, taking as much OT as possible and cutting costs wherever you can, it’s pretty discouraging to get slapped with new bills and additional obstacles at every turn. You feel beat down and you contemplate just waving the white flag in the hope that they’ll leave you the hell alone. You truly do start to lose hope.

Until you’re saved by Cheerios and airplanes. Of all things.

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8 thoughts on “Cheerios & Airplanes

  1. Boy, do I know the feeling about debt and creditors. I know you do anyways, but cherish those moments where you get “saved” like that. They are magic.

  2. Hi,
    I have been reading your blog since the beginning. My wife and I live in Maine and have an 19 month old daughter.

    For business we own and operate a Pizzeria as well as an advertising business. Much like you, the last year has been very tough financially.

    I just wanted to mention the option of filing for bankruptcy. You may be able to do so, and stop any of those creditors from harassing you while trying to recover from the down economy. You would be able to keep your house if you wanted, etc etc. Anyway, we are seriously considering Chapter 7. I felt that you may benefit from it also. Im definitely not a lawyer, just a parent in the same position as yourself.

    Best of luck to you and your family.


  3. Hi Matt. Believe me, we’ve considered all options. But as my wife works as a bank manager, she would lose her job if we declare bankruptcy. Furthermore she wouldn’t be able to get hired at any other bank in the future. So unfortunately that’s not an option for us.

    But I appreciate you taking the time to try to help us out. Thank you!

  4. I really feel for you man. I hope things turn around for you soon. In the meantime it sure is nice to have such a bright spot in your life as a child to help you make it through.

  5. From Michigan, where there are many people in the same situation -good luck to you. Maybe your son will say “Go, Paytwiots!” next.

  6. Been there, done that. With me it was hearing you say “Nafan” for the first time while pointing at your brother. You gotta have the tough times to truly appreciate the good. Of course, we could all do with a little less appreciation! And you are lucky to have the cutest kid ever! And the dmartest!

  7. What about a mortgage modification?

    Kids are fabulous at just the right moments. I was feeling particularly stressed and depressed the other night. I deal with hundreds of clients that are stuck in the same quicksand and the state took away any ropes we could throw them. So I was sitting at the table the other night castigating myself for the amount of people I had turned away that day. My 7 year old walks up and says “Transparent is when you can see through something. Translucent is when you can see light through it and opaque is when you can’t see through it at all.” I was so astounded to hear that come out of his mouth that it really refocused my entire mood at that point.

  8. When you’re in the corner and have no cash to go out from that point, you would need to receive the credit loans. Because that would aid you emphatically. I get collateral loan every year and feel great because of this.

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