You don’t hear about the generation gap any more, at least not constantly, as in the 60’s. My generation supposedly had wildly different life values from those of our parents, but that’s not what I was thinking about. I became aware of my feelings regarding work for my children and grandchildren. Our son John $ was here today and had lunch with us. Also at the table was grandson Nathaniel (17), who was going to start his first job in an hour. He has been paid for doing various bits of work, but this was the first time he was interviewed and hired for a summer job. I was nervous for him from the time he talked of coming here through his first two interviews. If I were honest, I wouldn’t use euphemisms, but say flat out that I was worried. At this moment I am very aware that he has gone out to make his way in the world. Is he ready? Yes, he is. Does he have a good work ethic? He does. Does he have good manners and social grace? Absolutely.
When John drove Nathaniel to the restaurant, I chatted with $. What was his first job? Was he nervous? I enjoyed hearing his recollections. That’s when it hit me that I don’t remember agonizing about my own children’s launch into the working world. All three got jobs without my help or worry. They cleaned houses, worked as a maid in a motel, washed dishes in restaurants, made bagels, worked as a camp counselor, drove a bus, worked behind the deli counter, and had jobs in a warehouse and a place where flagpoles were made. They worked at an earlier age than I did, too. I could have been a professional worrier, for heaven’s sake! Why did I fall down on the job? I flubbed my chance to make them apprehensive and nervous.
I had an excuse for not worrying grandson David into a job. He was living in New Jersey when he started work as a cashier in a supermarket. I will admit to being apprehensive when he came here last summer and needed a job to help pay college expenses. The pressure was high, and I did my fair share of worrying that he wouldn’t find a job without some kind of pull. Despite me, he got a job quickly and returns to it when off from college.
I was going to make a public apology here to my children for not worrying about them when they began working. Before I could begin, I canceled it. In this past year I have listened to their comments about the lack of work in their field, concern about a lateral move, and an application for a second job. I may have failed you in the worry department for your first job, but I’ve been on duty ever since.
Note to self: You know God is in control. Trust Him!