My son has completed his first week of paid employment! I have found Cameron’s employment to be an interesting exercise for both of us. I have had to consciously decide on how much parenting is appropriate in this endeavor of his. I think as the days go by, I’m getting the hang of things.
On Day One, I set my alarm and made his lunch—just this one time. He wasn’t sure if he would have access to a microwave, and I know best, after all, how to fit a full lunch into his thermos. Cameron took care of his breakfast and dressed in the dreaded work attire. He was to report to his office by 8:30, and was ready to leave the house by 7:30. The commute would take no longer than 45 minutes, tops. I drove him to the Metro station, leaving the house at 7:45. He called to let me know he had arrived, at 8:08. When he called me again at 3:00 to say he was on the way home, I felt like a child on Christmas morning. I couldn’t wait to see him and hear how the first day had been. Of course, I didn’t get an enormous amount of details, but that didn’t squelch my excitement. When he arrived home, I told Cameron to make sure his supervisor was aware that he would be out the following week. I was thinking he would take care of this when he arrived the following day. Instead, Cameron went to his backpack and took out a piece of paper with contact information on it. He called his supervisor that very instant, and made sure all was taken care of. I remember thinking how much easier my life would be if I handled things instantaneously like that, instead of putting things off until it’s more convenient.
On Day Two, I was a little more relaxed. We left for the Metro station 10 minutes later, and I was on pins and needles when I hadn’t received the “I’m here” call by 8:31. My phone rang two minutes later, and I fretted that Cameron was late on his second day of work. He finished early that day, and when he called to say he had arrived at the Metro station, he asked if it would be okay if he went to Angelico’s to wash dishes for a bit. When he arrived home, I started grilling him about his arrival time that morning, and whether or not he considered his arrival on time or late. He informed me that he wasn’t expected to start until 9:00. “Are you sure, Cameron?” To which I received, “I’ve been there yesterday and today, and they said I start at 9:00.” Instead of emailing his supervisor to verify this information, I decided to let Cameron put me in my place, and let this be his job.
On Day Three, Cameron decided to ride his bike to the Metro station. He arrived at his office at 8:48, as he did for the remainder of the week. He has been more conversant this week than I can ever remember. He is clearly proud of having a job, and even answered “yes” when someone asked him if had made any friends. So, all in all, it has been an exceptionally good first week on the job. And he did it all without any meddling on my part! Admittedly, I did have to reel myself in a bit, but thankfully Cameron is showing great patience with me as I learn on the job.