As kids get older, they start wanting their own money…and I’m talking about more that what an allowance gets them. It seems like the job opportunities follow along certain lines. Boys tend to get jobs mowing laws, or other handyman jobs, but girls tend to get jobs babysitting. I know that this is not always the case…that sometimes girls mow lawns and boys babysit, but the common first jobs are just the opposite of that. For my girls, babysitting was almost expected. I came from a family of sisters with lots of kids in the mix later on, and Bob did too. There always seemed to be aunts or uncles who needed someone to watch their kids while they worked or went out for the evening for a date night.
I think that babysitting trains a girl to be a mom. I can’t say that lawn mowing trains a boy to be a dad, but it is a job that boys seem to be expected to do. No matter what job a kid did, it was a way of learning responsibility. It taught them about how to manage and save their money…how to set a goal to save up for things they wanted. It showed them that things aren’t always handed to you for free…some things must be earned. Kids who work at a younger age understand this fact early on.
Some kids aren’t taught that lesson, and I think that’s sad. Sooner or later, we all have to earn our own way, and what better time to start than when they are young. Kids are so easily swayed one way or another when they are young, and if you ask me, it is far better to sway them on the side of being responsible members of society. As for my babysitters, I am so proud of how responsible each of them have grown up to be. My girls, Corrie Petersen and Amy Royce are great moms, and my granddaughter, Shai Royce will be someday. My grandsons have all grown up to be hard working responsible young men too. I simply couldn’t be more proud of any of them if I tried. I can’t say that the people they turned out to be is a direct result of their first jobs, but that certainly didn’t hurt, because they knew that work has value.
Those firsts in the world of aunts and uncles are among the coolest of times in a person’s life…often the closest thing to having your own kids. Quite often the first time you become an aunt or uncle, you are still pretty young, unless you are the oldest child. For my two younger sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law, they were 14, 12, and 7 years old. Becoming aunts and uncle was a very exciting time for them. My sisters and I became aunts 4 years earlier when my sister Cheryl had her daughter, Chantel. For Bob’s family, with the exception of Debbie, Corrie was the child who made them aunts and uncle, and they were quite excited about it. I could relate, for sure!
Jennifer would become our first babysitter, and would also have the most difficult time of it when she found out that Amy could be very hard to feed, since Amy and bottles…well, let’s just say they would never be friends. Brenda got to babysit when they were about 3 and 4, so she didn’t have to deal with Amy’s bottle boycott, and probably had a lot more fun with it, because she could play with them more. Ron…on the other hand, never really babysat the girls much; he was simply their playmate, which might have been the best deal of all. One thing I know for sure, Ron was always happy when he got to hold the babies by himself. I guess it made him feel grown up. Growing up around your aunts and uncles to a large degree was such a blessing for the girls. There was always someone to do things with, and later on, the tables turned, and they became the babysitters, so it paid off to a degree that their aunts and uncle took care of them.
Becoming aunts and uncle, changed the lives of my sisters-in-law and brother-in-law forever, as it does for all of us. Helping out with the raising of those precious little ones that you have been blessed with, is an amazing opportunity, and a big responsibility. Those kids look up to you, and it is important to give them a good role model. I am glad that the aunts and uncles my girls had…on both sides of the family were great role models, and I love each and every one of them very much.