I don’t think I have been this stoked about a major life milestone since I realized my son could blow his own nose.
My teenager is starting his first job, and he’s got the visor to prove it. I mean, what would a first job be without the regulation visor? After a week of studying the company policies and procedures on-line and taking tests on customer service, he marched off to war today, armed with his W4, a work permit, and a gleam in his eye, ready to join forces with the other Frozen Confectionery Transfer Technicians.
Scooping custard and blending shakes like a boss..and I couldn’t be a prouder Mama.
But, I discovered during this job search process for my fifteen year old, that not all Mamas (and some Papas) share my enthusiasm for their children to start earning their keep. I was slightly jolted by comments like “geez..give the kid a break”..or ” my genius works so hard in school, he deserves to sleep until dinnertime for three months.” Huh?
I remember my Dad, on a late 1970’s summer day,calling out the front door to me, where I was playing on the sidewalk with my friends..”Tessie! I got you a job..you start tonight!” Three hours later I was standing over the sink in the kitchen of a crab house. I was thirteen,and it was a filthy, miserable job. I am pretty sure every law of sanitation and child welfare were broken..as was my spirit at the futility of staying on top of the ever mounting dishes in my dingy dishwater. The massive crab steam pots, several feet tall, were positioned right next to the sinks..where I sweated and swore at the boys who would throw live crabs into my water just for fun. At the end of the night, or early morning really, I was paid under the table and thanked the boss for torturing me. I couldn’t wait to go back.
A long list of jobs followed that first job, a bakery, an ice cream store, a supermarket, a video store, an amusement park (the best..all I had to do was hide in a hole in the floor of a haunted house and grab the feet of the terrified people running through..perfect for the sleepless college student living at the beach..Zzzzzzz. I woke up once to a child complaining “this is stupid..this isn’t scary!!”) , a couple of restaurants..all great experiences.
I wish for my son many great experiences as he works through his teenage years. It’s a moment in time that can’t be taken back.
The boy just walked through the door, and all my nervous worry vanished with one look in his beautiful eyes. They were glowing with energy..he has seen the other side. He looked six inches taller as he proudly displayed his pocket full of tips. He’s hooked.