“His Family, a Machine” story transcript
Page Gardner: As the world turns, it’s getting more and more rare to see a “traditional” family – traditional meaning double-income, middle-class family.
Noah Hubbard, an Alumni of Oakland University, grew up in a single-income household, with two other siblings and his mom. After his father left, when Noah was just two years-old, leaving his moms with two children under 4 and another one on the way, this left his family among one of the eight million families of single working mothers.
Noah describes his family as a machine. There is himself, who he describes as the artsy one; Jordan, his older sister who is the brains of the family; Logan, his younger sister who is straight brute force; his grandparents were mostly supportive; and then his mom, who is the matriarch of the entire family.
He said his grandparents met when they were in high school, but he doesn’t know how his parents met, or really anything about his father, other than that he had a criminal past.
He said, “We all dealt with dad leaving in different ways. I combat with humor, Jordan puts all of her energy into her career, and Logan, I think, is still just angry. My mom never talks about it, and probably never will.”
However, dad leaving was just one of the many things that Noah went through with his family when he was growing up.
His family jumped around quite a bit through Rochester Hills and Clarkston, living in five different houses and apartments, not including the time they moved in with their grandparents, while his mom attended college.
He said, “The nice thing was that we always stayed in the same school district. So, we had the same friends and we always lived with each other as a family.”
When Noah was 17, his grandfather, who he calls Beepa, passed away from cancer. Beepa acted as a father to Noah and his siblings, and he said this hit them harder than anything their dad could have ever done to them.
He said, “We handled that a lot different [sic!] than we handled my dad, and I think it’s just because we were older. It brought us a lot closer together and taught us a lot about our family dynamic.”
Noah went on to explain how, this time, they all learned how they could be dependent and independent with each other at the same time.
He said, “There are things that we know we could turn to each other [for], and we should turn to each other, but there are other things where we know we should take a step back and say, ‘I know that I could handle this by myself.’ And we really discovered that during the time Beepa was sick.”
Shortly after, Jordan, his older sister, moved out of their house, which he said was a big upturn, because it was the first time anyone in the family has truly acted independently for themselves. Being just the four of them their whole life, with occasional help from their grandparents, they were extremely dependent on each other. With Jordan out of the house, they had to relearn and readjust to not having her support. Thankfully, she only moved 10 minutes down the road, but it wasn’t something they have been anticipating.
He said, “It may not seem far ago [sic!] when you live in such close quarters all your life and you’re all kind of apparent in different aspects [sic!], it’s a really big deal. And then to throw everyone off more, I dropped out of college.”
He said, “My mom was supportive, because she could see my point of view and my struggle, but Jordan was upset because she thought that it was a waste of my potential. My grandma actually changed her opinion on school, which I thought was interesting, because, when my mom was going back to school, she said, ‘Why are you paying all this money for a piece of paper?’ And then when I wanted to drop out of school, she was like, ‘That’s a really important piece of paper that you need to get.'” [Laughs]
When I asked Noah, “How has your family changed over time” and asked how they’ve handled all these ups and downs and different types of battles, he first said, “Well, we started off with a dad, and now we don’t have one anymore.”
To which I said, “I see the humor you were talking about earlier.” [Laughs.]
But he did go on to say, through each battle they fought together, they learned something about themselves and each other, and, if they haven’t gone [sic!] through those things that they’ve gone through as a family, as a cohesive unit, they definitely wouldn’t be as close, and he would not have the confidence to cross the country – which he’s doing in July.