So my boy got a job.
I’ve promised myself not to go beyond that, as he’s slowly coming into his own and being someone’s kid in this town can be a feat unto itself.
But it is indeed a proud moment for a parent as it’s definitely something they must go out and find, secure and do on their own. Now truth be told he’s worked doing “ranch stuff” for the better part of the past five years, learning things as he goes that his single mommy never could have taught him.
He also worked his freshman year doing dishes in the Oakdale High School cafeteria, which was a nice way to earn a little pocket money, yet kept him from having much of a social. Yes, I am the mom that thinks that is an important part of the high school experience and while work experience is important, there’s also plenty of time for that.
It’s a fine line really. Teaching a child to be both responsible, as well as carefree and taking advantage of life’s moments.
For those old enough to remember the ‘80s hit television show “Family Ties,” my two truly are carbons of Alex P. Keaton and his sister Mallory.
My boy started his resemblance to Alex very young with a fondness both for money, as well as tie wearing. Always quick to ask if I could take him to the bank whenever gifted money, keeping just a bit for something special or a little treat.
His sister, well, she’s not so much on this page and quite honestly that’s okay. More of the free-spirit open for fun on a dime.
It’s fun having opposites … most of the time.
But with summer upon us, college applications ahead of us and his senior year the next big step – getting a job – just seemed timely in his “growing up” chapter.
Things are so different now than the days of my youth. Pounding the pavement in search of a job, now eliminated by some employers who simply told him to check Indeed, a hiring website.
Yes, he did go in person to a number of places at the insistence of his momma, only to return home and look at the good ol’ computer and “Indeed.”
Putting my old school practices into play, he shared with me some places frowned on an in person follow up as “it’s intrusive mom.” I thought he was crazy, until I was told by a friend indeed I was wrong. Most employers don’t want to be bothered with an in person visit or have another department or person to handle such stuff; wow!
So I guess it’s fair to say, I’m learning just as much as my son.
The fun/reality of it all is seeing the change as my son takes on this new chapter and opportunity. Watching him now juggle the fun, the job and home responsibilities. As my fellow parent readers can attest, it’s a proud moment. Bittersweet in some ways, but proud all the same.
Being an Oakdale boy, he comes home with stories of “running into people” at work or seeing them while he’s working. Community support is always nice, especially when it’s toward one’s children.
And yes, the Alex P. Keaton in him remains alive and well as he tends to his business and remains smart about his monies.
As for his ol’ mom, I’ve learned a lot through the early part of this chapter. I’ve learned about both my son, as well as the changes in the job force. Like everything else, times they are a changing and it sure is different.
And so it goes.
As the youngest his sister is now speaking of where she’ll want to work and all the reasons why. Yet until that chapter arises, I won’t be taking all of the free summer moments and those in between during the school year for granted.
The empty nester phase grows closer each day, until then we will live in all the moments, making the most of the memories even if some do come by way of work stories.
And so continues our own little “Family Ties” segment.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 209-847-3021.