Generation Gap

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!

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29 thoughts on “Generation Gap

  1. Must be lots whirling in my head as your post brought tears to my eyes. As my son just moved here from Florida in January. Everything that could be against the kid was. He still has such an up hill climb. He has not got to be like or have most that have at his age. Lacking education, license, and his heart hangs heavy. Yet he was offered multiple jobs, is working towards school, and his license. His heart is healing. I worry constantly why when we have God that loves Him is even greater than me. Now maybe I can rein in my tears. It was the trust part at the end. I write of it daily, proclaim loud, but it is hard when it comes to our own lives. Thank you!! ☝❤

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    1. There are two people close to us who have uphill struggles with jobs. We encourage them and pray for them. One of the hardest things to do is trust the Lord. It’s a daily choice, as you know. I pray you and your son will find peace beyond our understanding.

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    1. You are right. Worry doesn’t change anything. However, I have a slightly different philosophy. If I worry as hard as I can, the situation is never as bad as I imagined it could be. In that sense, worry has a positive side. Being a professional worrier, I can even worry in reverse.

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  2. At least your grandson got an interview. I worry too, because so many places make you fill out online applications. No one wants to see their potential hires until they are hired it seems. Anymore now, you’re just a number. Nowadays, I don’t think I’d be able to get a job. They’d look at my age and think I’m old and unable to do the job, unless they want a door greeter at Wal Mart. You can be under and over educated. It’s hard to compete. It’s how you look on paper for the most part and that can be tough.

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  3. Your reflections always activate reflections of my own. Worries about the kids (3) during the same times, none that I recall. A plethora of employment had they. Like you, it’s the grandchildren now. The list includes a Brew Pub, golf course, MTV in Sobo, NYC and teaching in a private school. Worry not you old codger. As for a standout in my adolescence past, busing tables in the Gingham Club restaurant, Wildwood, NJ, 1958. Thank the good Lord, I can still reflect. Happy 4th Anne and John. Toot that train whistle and enjoy a milkshake.

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    1. Your list of jobs is more glamorous than mine. With the grandsons here, we tend to bring up the past more often than when we are alone. Actually, the boys are the ones bringing up happy memories. We go along for the ride. Hope you have a great 4th of July.

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      1. Enjoy the time sharing with them your past. I know how much I enjoyed listening to my grandparents and parents talk about the good ol’ days. But, there’s so much history there for them. It’s good for them to know what it was like then compared to now. I wish mine were all closer. My grand daughter keeps asking for a “grandma fix”. It feels good to be loved and missed, doesn’t it?

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  4. I understand where all of you with kids and grandkids are coming from, it’s hard to remember that God is in control sometimes, I have to share that my son (the one that just moved back from Ohio) got a job, his girlfriend is getting a new car today (not new but better than hers) and will be coming to join him in a few weeks. God is obviously working hard in their lives and I keep praying that their situation gets better.

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  5. I’d forgotten about the Generation Gap. You’re right talk of it was everywhere. I think there is always a gap between generations, but it seemed like such a big deal back then before we found other gaps to worry about. Good that you’ve caught up on your worrying about kids + jobs. Or maybe it’s not so much worrying as praying, eh? 🙂

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    1. I agree that there have probably always been gaps between generations. Perhaps the pace of life had picked up in the 60’s. With me, it’s usually worry that leads to prayer. Wish I’d take a shortcut and skip the worry.

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  6. I have not reached the stage of worrying about children for good jobs- still at worrying about jobs for us, the parents.
    We worry about a lot of things for the children including health.
    But God leads us through it all.
    Everyday I am reminded of – even though I walk through the valley of Shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
    Nathaniel and David are lucky to have you to worry about them and their future.
    Susie

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  7. Y’know, I traded in worry for gratitude many years ago, regarding my two kids, now in their 40s. I’m grateful they turned out sane, healthy, clever, responsible, loving, mature and just plain NICE. No drugs ever – except for my son’s experiment with caffeine pills during high-school exam all-nighters – and boy, did he ever hear it from his dad and me! Ha… And all this even though I was a single mom. Well, dad was in the picture on many weekends and holidays. And anyway, Anne, what good does worry do? All it does is give us physical discomfort and worry lines etched in the middle of our foreheads. No control, you said it. So relax now. ❤

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