Tuesday, February 08, 2011

No longer children

A continuation from a July Post (click post)

This past Friday my son Michael turned 18 years old. Some say, now he is an adult but my husband has been readying me for this day for the past 2 years. After he turned 16, Dan started saying, "stop treating him like a boy, he is becoming a man." Michael can probably attest to the fact that it has been a struggle at times for me. Some readers may wave it off and say boys don't become men until way into their 20s these days. I say if you treat your daughters and sons like children into their 20s you will reap what you sow.

Signs of Manhood
The fall before Michael turned 16 Dan broke his foot and was unable to do any nursing for almost 3 months. After his surgery and once he was feeling better, Michael and Dan worked several nights a week at Dan's brother Billy's store. Dan trained Michael mostly from a chair since he could have no weigh baring for 6 weeks on his foot. Consequently, Michael learned quickly and was able to do the work.
Shortly after Michael's 16th birthday, Dan and I ran Billy's store from mid May through mid July. (Billy had his hip replaced) We both know that we could not have done it without Michael's help. He got up four or five mornings a week before 4 AM. We would work until we were done. On occasion we would get out of work by 10 AM, most days by 12noon and other days not til 2 or 3 PM, Fridays were busy and rarely got out before 1PM. Since we were running the business, if something came up we of course stayed or came back to the store to take care of whatever needed taking care of. Michael did a great job and continues to do a great job (he and I work at the store one day a week). The customers and other employees have grown to love him and he does whatever needs to be done with excellence, whether that is waiting on customers, making coffee, putting together the Sunday Paper or putting up the grocery load (I could add a lot more to that list). Many have commented to me that they thought he was older than he is.

Those are school hours! [say those who like to find at least one thing wrong with those of us who do not have their kids in school] Yes, I was picking up from that post in July. Our family subscribes to Mark Twain's philosophy, "we never let school get in the way of education." If you have read any amount of my post that refer to education or you know me personally, you know that I am not a fan of the term "homeschooling" and prefer to say "educated at home." As I was saying at the end of that July post we also have had the benefit of walking through this life and in this world along side of our children. The three of us working at the store together was doing just that. It was a real challenge for us and it is now a treasured memory of watching my son growing into manhood and having to be his boss in the work place helped me tremendously in learning to treat him like a man. Perhaps I was actually succeeding in doing so and that is what some of those witnessing customers saw as well.

The fine citizens of Dedham once in a while would ask Michael about school but for the most part that was it. The way in which Michael conducted himself, worked hard and served well earned him their respect and there was no cause for concern about the way in which he was being educated.

There hasn't been a lot of time to reflect lately which can be a good and a bad thing. I need to take time to reflect and write about the closing of this season and look ahead to what is to come sooner rather than later. It has been a wonderful adventure thus far and I imagine it will continue to do so.


Daniel M. said...

I will never forget those times. He was awesome to be with me all those nights, not to mention my brother throwing work my way that we could survive on the kindness of others to get through that time without working.

Daniel M. said...

I will remember those times fondly. He is a better man than I ever will be IMHO. I wanna be like Mike!