The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 26, 2022 1:00 am

Family matters

Mom, daughter each share their side of the story

Julie Hoch and Natalie Hoch

Like mother ...

I am the mom who has a hard time letting go of my children.

When Natalie graduated from law school in Valparaiso, she got an interview to go to Massachusetts on a fellowship program at the attorney general's office. I was panicked.

She would be all alone. Not very many people like attorneys, I thought. What if she gets kidnapped, what if she gets hurt in her house and nobody's around to help her? The list goes on and on and that was all in my mind constantly.

I hate to admit it, but I even knew she wanted a husky. I told her I would pay the $400 if she didn't go on the interview. I know, that was selfish on my part, but it did not work. She turned down their offer, but they called back and told her they really wanted her to work for them.

She told me she honored our deal by turning them down the first time. She said she didn't go back on the deal; I said she did.

After she took the job, I had to really sit back and think about this and realize: Who was I to hold her back when this was what she worked so hard to accomplish?

I am very proud of her but, honestly, I truly miss her. We did so much together, and disagreed like most mother and daughters, but I missed it all.

I do have a beautiful place to visit and stay. It's been more than six years, and she has done very well in Massachusetts. If she wants to stay there, I must accept it.

But don't think for one minute anytime a position in the attorney general's office or for any attorney comes available in Indiana, I don't call her about it. Her comment is always, mom, stop.

The only thing I have to say is: Where is my $400? My goodness, it is hard to be a parent sometimes.

Unlike daughter ...

My mom and I are close, but I needed my own life. I had other dreams and did not want to stay in one place like she has done her whole life.

I wanted to be a lawyer, and my mom said: “Why, nobody really likes lawyers, and someone may be after you or even kidnap you for a ransom!” (She is so dramatic!)

Mom could move close to me, but she does not like stepping out of her box. I do. I didn't want to stay in a small town my whole life. I wanted more.

I wanted a career I could be proud of and feel like I can make a difference in the world.

I had worked multiple jobs since I was 15 years old, but I was always close to home. So, I decided to go to law school. I knew this was what I wanted.

When I graduated, I applied for a fellowship program in Massachusetts at the attorney general's office, but I assumed it was a long shot. I was offered an interview, and while I was excited, my mom was not.

I thought she was going to have a heart attack.

She even offered me $400 to turn down the interview. While I did turn the interview down, they asked me to go through the process anyway and I was offered the job. I did my part, so she can't say I didn't follow through.

I used that $400 to get a dog, my husky, Kylo. But Kylo was really $800 (mom didn't know that).

So, now you know my side of the story and why it's important to step outside your box.

You might find what you've been looking for all along.


Julie Hoch is a writer and works at a public library. Natalie Hoch is an attorney in Massachusetts.

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