Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superstar learns about jobs

I got home to UT. We left for CA to spend Christmas with my parents. We went back to UT. I left again for the big economics job market conference at the beginning of January in Philadelphia where I had a number of preliminary interviews. I came home and had another phone interview. I flew out to Texas to have a major interview with Tarleton State University. I came home, had a last phone interview, and flew back to Nigeria.

It was not quite the Have-Daddy-Stay-At-Home the kids were hoping for. I forget whether I was in Philly or TX, but Joy reported on a conversation she had with Superstar:

S: I don't want Daddy to get a job.
J: Why not?
S: I want him to stay with us all the time.
J: But if Daddy doesn't find a job, then Mommy will have to get a job. Would you rather Daddy stay home and Mommy goes to work?
S: No. I want you both to stay home, always.

Joy managed to convince him that if we're going to eat, someone needs to work. When I came home, I spent a good bit of time talking with the kids about how my goal was to find a job in the States so we could all live together again.

For Family Home Evening one night I decided to have a lesson on setting goals - it being so close to New Years, it seemed festive.
I told them about my goals that included finding a job in the States, a home where we can be together this year, and living to ensure our family could be together forever. Because being together again was so important, that's why I needed to spend so much time away this vacation. I asked each of the children what big goals they wanted to work for. Superstar's included having his family together forever too. He also wants to grow up to be big and strong like Daddy.

I then talked about the fact that we need to DO things to make our goals reality. I talked about the things I was doing to make my goals a reality. I asked them what they wanted to do and Superstar came up with some great projects. One of them was that he wanted a job, because clearly having a job was an essential part of being a daddy with an eternal family. He also wants to save up to buy a home where his family can all live together. We found him a way to earn some more money and set goals for his schoolwork which is his preparation for a job these days.

I'm very proud of Superstar for that. I also sorrow just a tiny bit, though I don't whether it's for him or for me. At age 5 I wanted my allowance primarily so I had some money to spend on whatever I wanted. My parents were primarily interested in teaching me about tithing and saving for my mission, and it worked as intended. That's also why we started giving Superstar an allowance last year. But my goal for earning money as a kid and a teenager was always so I would have just a little cash to spend on whatever I felt like. Part of me wishes I had been a bit more like Superstar. Part of me wishes our lives were carefree enough, and that Daddy was home, so that he wouldn't have had to learn that desire just yet. I'm glad he has, and I'm proud of how responsibly and maturely he's dealing with all this. I guess this is just one of the few times I wish my kids didn't have to grow up quite so soon, even if it is good for them.