Luke is a June birthday and as soon as he turned 16 he wanted to find a job. Under #No Coincidences, he happened to mention this in the presence of one of his Bonus Moms, Jodi Wlodarczek, and she quickly went about getting him a job at Oriol Healthcare in the kitchen. Here he was, at the beginning of the summer, a working man! Luke was one of the first of his friends to get a part-time job and he was pretty damn pleased with himself. There was only one problem… Luke didn’t really like to work. HA!
Luke was doing food prep in the kitchen. I think mostly he washed dishes ’cause that’s what he complained about constantly, lol. He hated the smell of the kitchen and how it would get into the clothes he had to wear as part of his uniform – white shirt , black pants, black shoes. Under *we will never really know* lol, I remember someone telling me Luke used to hang out in the storage closet when things were slow and use his phone. If it’s true….sigh… Classic Lukester.
On the upside of employment, Luke loved getting a paycheck and feeling like he was taking care of himself. A couple hundred bucks every month means the world when you want to be able just go out and buy yourself something, or pay for gas in your car. The other thing Luke would talk about when he would come home from work was the old folks. Oriol is a rehab facility and Luke would talk about all the characters that would be eating in the dining hall. He loved those oldies, but goodies, and this is another one of those complexities to Luke’s personality that made him who he was. He always saw the value in every human being and wanted to hear their story. Maybe, just maybe Luke was getting more out of his job than he realized.
So here’s what I need you to know: We don’t push kids to get part-time jobs the way we used to when I was growing up. Part of it is, jobs are harder to come by. Part of it is, we, as parents, decide that our kids other extracurricular activities are more important than working. Part of it is, we just want things to be easier for our kids than it was for us, and don’t they have a lifetime of work ahead of them anyway? We all know the answer to that one, lol. What I do know is how important it is for a young person to define themselves in different ways: as a student, an athlete, a dancer, a friend. What I also know is how important it is for a young person to define themselves outside of their parents. *This is me, figuring out me, WITHOUT YOU.* Like driving, holding down a job happens away from the concerned eyes of parents and it is all them, no matter what happens – good, bad, or indifferent. So, if my child doesn’t work, is it the end of the world? ‘Course not. But it is a rite of passage that holds a lot of value whether you cut grass, babysit, deliver pizza, or wash dishes. Don’t our young folks deserve those same “when I was kid” stories that we love to share with them? I love to talk about my first job at the Toronto Zoo scooping camel poop and training baby ostriches. True story! lol It’s just something to consider. Maybe we DO tell our kids – Get A Job! lol It just might be maximum worth for minimum wage.