Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8 (NIV)
Labor Day is to honor all the working men and women who have made our country great, but I can’t help but think of my own Labor Days. Oldest son was a surprise c section. After almost twelve hours of ineffective labor, the doctor wanted to go home. I was young and healthy. After I recovered from the anesthesia which knocked me for a loop, I was fine. Youngest son was a planned c-section so I had no labor with him. Recovery was harder with a preschooler to care for. While the labor of their births was short and relatively sweet, labor did not stop with bringing them into this world. As moms, our work is never done even when our children are in their twenties and leaving the nest. Both of my boys have applied for full time positions in their field and are waiting to hear if they will be chosen. Oldest son has it easier because he has applied to go from seasonal (full time, but no benefits and you have to reapply every six months) to permanent at the same park where he currently works. In fact, his boss called to tell him of the job opening and encouraged him to apply. That makes me feel good, but I still worry. When Hurricane Isaac headed his way and he was told to evacuate, I advised him to find a place of safety to ride out the storm near the park. Then, he could volunteer to help with recovery as soon as the storm passed. That was deemed unnecessary by oldest son who drove ten hours away and on the other side of the Mississippi River to visit a friend. It took him a day to get back to work after the park reopened. Sigh. Youngest son is paying a little more attention. He has his dress pants and shirt all pressed and ready for his interview on Wednesday. He sent me his resume to proof read and print on classy cream colored resume paper. All his certificates are copied in color. He gladly accepted the leather portfolio case I gave him to carry it all. We have brainstormed over possible interview questions (I did not freak him out with the question my boss always asks, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”) and I advised him not to ask about housing in the first interview. I also suggested he get the names and addresses of those who conduct the interview so he can send them thank you notes afterwards. Of course, all of this is based on my thirty years of management but times have changed. My ideas may be outdated. I just want them to get full time jobs. Health insurance, stability, a home of their own! One day they will be parents and maybe even grandparents and I will still be laboring over them. A mother’s work is never done. Even after the official Labor Day has passed.