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My son got a job…

April 24, 2008

Today was “Take your child to work day” and the company I work for actually truly embraced it. Our office planned an amazing agenda for the parents and kids who chose to participate. The kids each got an acceptance letter with an employment application to fill out and instructions for where to report for their first day of “work”. When they came in they were taken to a conference room where they had a continental breakfast set up and they met with the head of the HR department. She collected their applications and took them on a tour – introducing them to key people from each department. Then they played some games with kids in the home office in Kansas City on the “Smartboard”. They had presentations from several different engineers and then had time to sit with the parents and learn about their jobs. Then they wrapped up with lunch and their “paychecks” which were giftcards to Target. In the afternoon my son hung out with me and helped me work….and played a bit while I worked. We went to the cafe next door and had a fruit smoothie and a doughnut to top out the afternoon!

I planned each aspect of the day with another woman in my office and we ran the entire program. My son was SO EXCITED about this day. This morning, on the way in to work he must have thanked me 3 times (and not just because I got him hot-chocolate from Starbucks) and throughout the day he kept saying thanks. He even said that this was one of the best days of his life. I think this may be the first time since he was tiny that he and I have spent an entire day alone together. He helped me do my job and we spent tons of time just talking…..it was fantastic!

On the way home he was asleep within minutes and he has been pretty wiped out all evening. In some ways, this was a giant leap for him into the “real world” of jobs and responsibilities…it was designed to be a test run for him – a little taste of adulthood. For me…..it was a huge reminder of how quickly he is growing. How little time I have left where I will be a hero just for spending time with him and buying him some hot-chocolate. It’s a reminder of how precious opportunities like these are……how I need to grab them every chance I get, and that the little boy who was excited to use my badge to unlock a door today will quickly become a man with a life of his own.

I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet…..and I hope he isn’t either!

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