the boys’ first job




Last week, an older neighbor of ours stopped by in his red truck.  I didn’t know who he was so I ran outside ready to tell him he was at the wrong house.

“Can I help you?  Who are you looking for?”  I asked.

“Are your Mom or Dad at home?” he wondered.

(I paused, confused for a moment…..)

“I’m the Mom here,” I said (delighted). 

“Oh… look so young,” he said.  (I found out later that he was 70 years old.)   “I’m just stopping by to ask you and your husband if your older boys would like a job moving brush and stacking wood?  They wouldn’t be using any machinery and I would pay them.”

He left me with his name and number, and later that day Rich and I talked it over and agreed that this was something that we wanted Jacob and Ethan to do.  They both have worked hard with their Dad for years now (around the house), and we were confident they could handle the work like men.  Rich is such a good, “tough but loving” Dad and has trained them well.  We talked with the boys and they were also willing.  So, last Friday (their last day of spring break) they got ready, walked up the road to the neighbor’s house, and put in their first full day of work.  They worked from 9:30 until 4:30, with a half hour lunch here at home.  You can imagine the empty feeling here at home while they were gone.  When they got back home that afternoon we were anxious to hear all about it, and I snapped the pictures of Jacob.  They were both dirty and suntanned but Ethan said, “You have to be kidding, no.” when I asked to take his picture.  Jacob was proud of his filth and injury (a long scratch).

They said to us, “The man was so nice!  He gave us all the water we could drink.  And his wife made strawberry cookie bars!”

He had them all decked out in hard hats, goggles, and gloves.  Ethan said they were too big and “unnecessary” but he still wore them.

Jacob said with surprise, “The funny thing about me is the longer I worked, the MORE I WANTED TO WORK.”

(Rich understood that feeling perfectly.)

The next day, Jacob put in another full day.  Ethan had baseball practice and then worked one hour with Jake, before he was too sick to work anymore.  (He was coming down with a bad cold).  Jacob came home at the end of the day with their two day’s worth of pay.  They spent some time that night trying to think of other ways to make money.  They wish to buy real steel swords.  (“Blunted, mom, so no one gets hurt.”)  We are going to set them up with bank accounts.

The neighbor up the road has requested that they work every Saturday until the big job is done, and several of my friends also want to hire them (one to move stuff out of her attic, and one to paint her garage.)  Looks like they will have plenty of opportunities to work some odd jobs over the spring, summer, and fall.

A good work ethic is so important to instill into our children.  They are rewarded with some money, but most importantly, we noticed a huge boost in their confidence as young adults.  I am so proud of our boys/*turning into* MEN.



0 thoughts on “the boys’ first job

  1. Hard work is so good for boys! It’s wonderful they have the opportunity to work.Our boys and my brothers have been cutting/stacking/moving firewood for the past couple of weeks. It’s a big job, but it’s really good for them! Happy Thursday to you. =)

  2. hi shanda…….after investing so much time, it must be very satisfying that others can see the work ethic you’ve instilled in your boys and have confidence and trust in their work.  good for ethan and jacob!!  (now you have to make sure they don’t work too hard that they don’t have enough energy to still help rich around the house!)

  3. I feel like western people instill work ethic to their children more than asian people. Here in east, especially in our country, parents support the children and won’t let them work until they graduate from their universities. Most parents don’t just feel the need to let their children work. I was already 21 when I had my first job, and I kind of regret that I wasted my earlier years. I gave so many excuses, I was worried, I didn’t have confidence in myself even though my mom have fully supported me. Now that I have worked, I can’t imagine without having any job at all. All you need to do is first step, and I believe your kids have competed theirs. You must be so proud.

  4. Another great BOY post – enjoyed every word!I LOVE how your neighbor asked if your parents were home!!!I LAUGHED so hard at your side remark about how “Rich understood that feeling perfectly!” (suspecting that you wouldn’t mind if this tendency was slightly abated )As they reached their teens (especially with their flexibility due to homeschooling), my brothers were all recruited by neighbors and friends for all kinds of jobs. It was an awesome factor in their character and skill development, and a good time in their lives to experience working under other men. Terry and I hope for the same for our boys when they get older. Again, wonderful post!

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