“Whoo – hoo!” Thump. Thump.
“Hey, be quiet up there, your sister is sleeping” the annoyed parents yelled up at the boy-man (irony, yes we were yelling at him.)
Six foot 2 inches of excitement came flying down the stairs into the family room, iphone in hand.
“I got it, I got the job! I can’t believe it!”
And with that, my boy-man progresses further into the category of man. His first part-time job, as a swim instructor/life guard. A perfect summer position, something I have been not so subtly pushing him toward since he first dipped his head underwater at the age of 5. A role that seemed hard to convince him of when he decided he no longer needed lessons at the age of 12. After all, he knew how to swim. Why bother teaching? What did it matter to a 12 year old boy, who had completed all the swim levels he could and was too young to progress to the lifesaving courses. Who was also too busy playing video games.
So we waited it out. By the age of 15, we started our gentle persuasion techniques (after my tiger-mom bullying no longer was effective). His father brought up the fact that as a lifeguard/swim instructor, there would be other kids, it would be social. And there would be girls. Lots of them. Brilliant -only a man’s perspective will do in certain situations.
It worked. Over the next year and a half, he finished his levels, CPR, lifesaving training, life guarding and swim instructor training sessions. The training, as one should expect, was extremely rigorous. Candidates had to demonstrate swimming skills and stamina, as well as understand emergency situations, workings of the body / heart, legal liabilities associated with this role. After every course there seemed to be another set of sessions he had to complete – but he tackled every one with determination. Begrudgingly, as the timing got in the way of homework and more importantly friends/parties/girlfriend…but he did it.
After his aquatic interview mid-May, he was told his chances of summer employment were pretty slim because of returning students from university, and carryover from the current session. Nevertheless, he sent a personal note to the supervisor of the closest pool, mentioning his contacts and his network, asking for consideration should anything come up.
And sure enough, a week and a bit later, he received confirmation that he was hired, and had a choice of sessions. These sessions work perfectly with his summer school schedule.
I’m officially a proud mama bear.
They tell you that once your boys hit high school, you will see misery, complaints, grunting rather than communication, until a certain time. Almost as if on cue, our son is hitting a sweet spot – in his third to last semester of high school. This time next year he will be looking at university applications and acceptances, hopefully in the program of his choice. He will be graduating. I’m trying not to count semesters.
Incidentally he’s knocking these life milestones out of the park this month. He also got his driver’s license 2 days after his first meeting with his manager.
How did we get here? My boy – our young man. He can still be a complete shit to me sometimes, but remember, he is still a teenager. But he always apologizes and he means it. With a hug – and sometimes bubble tea.