Ah, remember this unofficial day off from school when we were younger? Back in my day ( if you’re reading this, you should know my “day” falls somewhere in the 90’s- and I will leave it at that)- it was just the girls that got to participate in this endeavor.
Now in our modern world,everyone gets a chance to spend a day in their parents world. ( or some version of it, as some companies may alter the day as to not scare of children from the actual realities of the working world)
Walking into my building at work today, I was greeted/almost run over by pint-sized versions of my co-workers. Some look bored ( the day hasn’t even started!), some look tired ( I feel ya too there, buddy. One word when you get older : Starbucks) and some, rightfully so, look excited to be here. Whether it be because it’s a day off from school to hang out with their parents all day, or actual excitement to experience a “Career Day” because what their parents do is of actual signifigance and importance to them.
Growing up- Take Your Child To Work Day was something so new to me. The first year I ever heard of it I was excited..a day..with my mom..YES! My mom was a nanny and would be gone the whole day, returning late at night in time for homework supervision and dinner. The possibility of spending a whole day by her side, no matter what she was doing, was a treasure.
When I approached my mother about this “special day” she gave me a bemused look at said ” what? no. You don’t want to see what I do. Let me ask Ms. Ginger”. Ms. Ginger was her boss, a prominenet interior designer in Houston, Texas, where we lived at the time. I remember thinking ” But Ms. Ginger isn’t my mom.” It wasn’t until I was older than I realized what she was trying to do. The concept of “Take Your Child To Work” day was to inspire and motivate your child to somehow follow in your footsteps, or at least get an idea of what their hard work and education can get them too.
My mother was a nanny.
She had studied in her native country, El Salvador, to be an accountant and received her accounting degree, but when she came to this country and had to work to continue making things happen for her, she did everything from waitressing, to housekeeping, to what eventually became her love and current career- a nanny. I don’t see anything wrong with that decision for her, then or now. But perhaps at that time, my mother wanted me to see something more than her cleaning up and caring for another person’s child.
What I wish my mother had known then, and what all parents should know now:
No matter what you do,
how you do it,
what you did to get there,
I am proud you are my mother.
You may not work in a shiny office,
drive a fancy car,
have a nameplate, or a title.
But the work you’ve done to get me where I am today merits every recoginition,
award, and highest honor.
She may have wanted me to see a better life sending me to work with her boss,
but what I wish my Mom had known,
was that I would’ve loved spending a day with my mother,
at her side,
doing what she does best:
Working hard, with all the love,blood, sweat and tears in her body, to ensure her family not only survives, but strives for higher goals and successes that she was not able to achieve.
So while I sit here at reception, and employees stride by me with their children, stating ” she’s just here for a little while, she’s on the way to NYU for her Master’s” I want to say “stop”. There is nothing wrong with working while planning for the next dream come true. My mother taught me that a long time ago. As long as you reach your dream, keep working at whatever you have to do to get there.