Friday, October 22, 2021

The way my boys work

As good as any at the fair - and in those little holder bowls too!
I would say we're not a fuzzy, cuddly modern family.  That is, if you look on Facebook, you won't see a lot of posts from anyone - but me - singing each others' praises.  Only two of my sons even have an account (our youngest is too young), and they don't post 'super dad' or 'awesome mom' or even 'fantastic brother' type posts.  When they bother posting anything.  

I see some I know whose children will laud each other with endless posts telling of how much they adore their siblings, or their parents, or anything like that in the family.  My sons?  Nope.  

Not that they aren't affectionate.  After my dad's heart attack, he dropped some of that old Depression era distancing and became a bit more loose with his emotions.  I passed that onto my sons who, in their daily actions, will display words of affection in ways that would have made my pre-heart attack dad a bit unconformable.

But beyond that, there's not much in the way of 'social media era' fuzziness.  What they do, however, is this.  

Right now, two of my sons are in a 'being single' stretch in life.  Our third oldest, at the tender age of 21, is already a store manager eying an area manager position.  His goal is not to work in the food industry forever, but to learn the ins and outs of business, amass enough money so that if he must get a college degree it will be a side expense he can afford, and eventually move into entrepreneurship.  My oldest son is busy finishing college with an eye toward graduate school.  His studies and scholarships occupy his time.  Our fourth son being too young for that sort of thing.  But that's where their time goes. 

Our second son, on the other hand, is now graduated, and working to move up the corporate ladder as he contemplates continuing school or just moving more up the ladder. And his extra time he has now?  It has been filled by his relationship with a delightful young lady who is everything a Christian dad could hope for his son.  

They began dating earlier in the year, and it's been tough owing to the Covid pandemic.  Because of my mom and now my wife, we must be extra cautious.  We haven't gotten the vaccines, for reasons I have already discussed.  But we balance that by continuing to be more or less in lockdown/quarantine mode.  As I've said before, the years that led up to Covid with their endless trials and injuries and health crises more than prepared us as a family to be anchored to the homestead.  

But for him and his girlfriend, they've found creative ways to go out and about nonetheless, without putting themselves into large crowd situations.  Because of the uptick in the Covid cases, they chose not to go to our county fair this year.  They had hoped to, and I know my son was wanting to take her to where he went so many times as a child.  But they decided it wouldn't be a good idea.  She was as understanding as our son. 

So - and this is the point - my other sons decided to put on a fair for them.  The intent was to set up games and fun around the house and in the yard - complete with prizes - but weather did not cooperate.  Still, with the help of our oldest chef son, and money from our third oldest (who makes more than I made when the family moved to Ohio back in 2000) we also built a menu of homemade fair food:  Funnel cakes, fries and malt vinegar, corndogs, gyros, baklava, and sausage sandwiches.  The type of vittles we always got when we took the boys to the fair when they were little.

We then watched the old 1973 animated version of Charlotte's Web, since our youngest hadn't seen that yet. He read the book some time back, but we thought that would work because of the country fair emphasis at the end.  

That's how my boys do it.  They aren't the #Awesome Family types.  They simply - do things. When one needs something, the others are there with little fanfare or noise.  When one is in trouble, the others drop what they're doing and step up to the plate.  Even when there is some major crisis - like when my mom had hear near fatal health scare - they come together and display an amazing amount of instinctive teamwork.  

No, they don't rush off to social media to talk about it.  But they show it, and that's just fine with me.  I'm the one that does the lauding. 

From L-R: Son #1,#3,#4,#2


  1. His goal is not to work in the food industry forever, but to learn the ins and outs of business, amass enough money so that if he must get a college degree it will be a side expense he can afford, and eventually move into entrepreneurship.

    I don't know what college would really teach him in that regard. He's better off to keep saving and just start doing. Tell him to go around and find local businesses and strike up conversations with the owners. A few minutes talking with them will teach him far more than any professor.

    1. So far that's his plan. His ten year plan is to own his own store within the company, and then work that for about five years, learning the ins and outs of business ownership. At only 20 he was promoted to manager (one of youngest in region). As I said, he's eying the next. Since he's willing to work round the clock (we've said he would double shift seven days a week if we let him), he figures he can get there at least in ten years, if not earlier.

    2. I like the cut of his jib. Let me know if he ever needs investors, I'd like to see the kid take on Jeff Bezos one day. ;)

    3. Well, he would be the one to do it. Though he's learning right now the triumphs and travails of being a manager at the ripe age of 21, and dealing with all the joys of customers down to employees. One thing I have noticed - they can't get people to apply, and those who do remain for a few months and quit. Is anyone trying to work today?

  2. Even without the extreme political bias in most colleges, higher education is still overrated. Obviously many people do need college, but other equally important and worthwhile career paths are too often devalued by the establishment. We have an excess of kids who don't need college attending anyway.

    1. I think it is. Sadly, many companies still have that 'BA/BS required' to move past certain levels. I'm not sure when that began, but I have a feeling the skyrocketing tuition costs and the mandate to have a degree no matter what the job likely go hand in hand.

    2. Dave, I've pointed out that as subsidy for a product goes up, the market response is overproduction, overconsumption, inefficiency, and poor quality. From my blog:

      "The good is both overproduced and overconsumed, but incentives to produce it efficiently or at increased quality are decreased. People don't care as much about these when they didn't themselves earn the money they are spending. ...
      "A ... prominent example is postsecondary education (ie, at colleges and universities). As Pell grants and Stafford loans have increased, so too has tuition, ensuring that the market is always charged all that the family of the student can bear, PLUS any subsidies and financial aid they can acquire. And college students learn less and less about how to think and learn with each passing decade."

    3. That makes sense. I just know they've had to leap through hoops and work their fingers to the bone - and sacrifice by staying home when I'm sure they'd be happy to spread their wings - in order to get through school without debt.

  3. From what I've seen of your sons, they take the care they've learned at home into their other relationships. And I bet that meal tasted better than actual fair food. :)

    1. Oh, it was good. I'm no corn dog connoisseur, but my sons say these were better than they ever had. Nothing like good old home cooked fair food I guess.


Let me know your thoughts