About a week ago I started noticing things around home. I noticed my dad wasn’t waking up as early (he usually showers and leaves before I do), and he’d made a comment in front of me that at first struck me as odd, but I then shrugged off.

I’m very imaginative, and I often imagine the worst so my first thought was “Do you think he lost his job?” I was afraid of asking, mostly because of the response that I would get. What if he had lost his job? Holy crap…what would that do to our financial situation?

We’ve had plenty of financial difficulties in the past, but I thought things had calmed down. I haven’t noticed any collection agencies calling the house, and I didn’t feel that same tension as I had years ago. However for a couple of months now I’ve caught my parents arguing about money. My dad complaining about having bills to pay…the phone, internet, cellphones… Call me a coward, but I always pretend not to hear these things. I prefer to stick my head in the sand. I’ve tried to offer to help out, but they don’t accept money from me. So instead I’ve been diligently contributing to my savings accounts.

Well, I never had to ask him what was going on. We were in the car this weekend with my sister, her husband, and both my parents when he spoke. “I’ve been laid off from my job. They could no longer afford my salary and had to let me go.”

I knew it.

I guess its fortunate that my dad has maintained ties with former bosses, and that he has years of experience in his industry. However, in this market I’m not sure how plentiful jobs are. He’s in the manufacturing business and has been an Operations manager (or something of that sort) for a long time. This same thing had happened to him around ’98, and he bounced back….but it took a while, and we took some hits financially (thats when all the calls started from collections). He mentioned that one of his former bosses had contacted him to do some consulting for a company that he wanted to start up. This is great, but I’m worried he’s going to get burned (its happened in the past). My dad’s a nice guy, and it wouldn’t be too difficult for them to convince him to take the job for less than his work is worth. I’m hoping for the best though. The next question is what will happen once that is done with? Its supposed to last for 6 months or so. Hopefully the pay will be enough to keep afloat and will give him time to find another full-time job.

I suppose a lot can happen for 6 months, but I’m worried about what this development means. I guess part of it is out of selfishness. I want to move out. Both for my sanity (my parents are starting to drive me crazy) and theirs. I want to be independent. But with this happening I don’t know if they are going to need financial help from me. I need to talk to them and see what they intend to do and what role I will play in those plans.
For the first time I was starting to feel so close to independence, and now I just don’t know.
I’m not even sure how to bring this up to them. Its a very adult conversation that we need to have…yet I still feel like I’m their kid, and I shouldn’t be bringing this up.
What they say is true, “Ignorance is bliss”, but thats no longer an option. 
Anyone have words of advice for me?