Telling Tales – What did you do over Spring Break?
By ANGEL KANE,
“We never get to go anywhere. Our life is horrible. Why do you hate us?”
And whenever my children start telling me how bad their life is, I immediately relive for them, in excruciating detail, how I spent each and every moment of my Spring, Summer and Christmas breaks, busing tables and mopping floors at my Father’s restaurant. Child labor laws were something my Father scoffed at.
So during this break…I thought it was time to channel my dear old Dad. These kids of mine were going to work and I had absolutely no intention of paying them.
As my Dad would say – “the lights turning on when you hit the switch – is your pay.”
And I had HUGE plans for my little workforce ….we were going to clean the garage, organize the closets, scrub some baseboards and make all the windows shine….good times! And when we were done with the inside, we were going to pull some weeds, re-mulch the landscaping and clean out the shed.
When I showed them the list, my youngest literally started crying. And I can’t be sure, but I think his Father’s eyes seemed to tear up as well….
Once again I channeled my own Father’s words of encouragement “You people are so weak. Let’s get moving!”
And day after day, we slowly but surely accomplished each and every task on the list.
Of course, it wasn’t easy. At some point during the process my husband tried to unionize the group. You see, he was one of those children who spent his breaks fishing, swimming, riding his bike and basically…living the dream.
“I think you are too hard on them. This is their break, they should be having fun.”
To which I could only laugh. “Fun, are you kidding me? My brother and I re-roofed my parent’s house one summer. Those skins cancers Gerry had removed last year are directly related to all the “fun” we had growing up. And if I hear you tell the kids about fair wages again, I am going to take you out!”
Needless to say, once the union was busted, we continued having lots of “fun” , and I am proud to say my house and yard look amazing…and it didn‘t cost me one penny!
Of course, I now fear that before Summer break one of my children might assassinate me, so if I go missing, I’d ask everyone look for some freshly poured concrete!
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