Educated or Skilled
To my way of thinking, everyone should be both educated and skilled. In other words, should you choose to study Early Beekeeping in college and there suddenly becomes no need for ancient apiarist historians, you have something to fall back on.
Fact of the matter is, most people can’t span both worlds and must choose one or the other. Bottom line: either you knock yourself out and study, or you knock yourself out with physical labor. The goal is something marketable, which a whole generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings living in their parents’ basements do not quite grasp.
So, yours truly is here on the scene, to impress on the world, starting with my own kids, that all of us must “do something” in life whether it’s curing cancer, raising a family, supporting ourselves, volunteering at a soup kitchen, eliminating toxic waste or writing legislation to make the world a better place. Apparently, very little of preparing for the collegiate mainstream interests three out of four, therefore, I am encouraging them to learn a trade.
Starting at home.
While it may be possible to teach auto mechanics or culinary arts at Casa Bartologimignano, it’s unlikely. I mean, we need to get meals on the table in a timely manner when there are six hungry people involved. No time for playing around. Plus, Benedetto once engaged the younger ones (older teens) in raising the hood on one of our cars and all of them almost went up in flames.
I’ll have to tell you about that sometime, or have I? I think I blocked it from my mind. As parents, we want to push the kids, but we necessarily must draw the line at risking life and limb.
Anyhoo, we came up with a project.
While our eldest, Petya (close to 21), is toiling away writing university research papers and working in a professional office having to do with his major (which the others would consider so booooring, yawwwn…), the two of us parents have strongly suggested, urged and pushed the other three in the direction of studying for SATs, learning to type (or keyboard in today’s lingo), researching potential fields of study and careers, going to shadow a professional in said career of choice… Pasha (20), Mashenka (almost 19) and Sashenka (16) have remained recalcitrant.
So we have three students, not wanting to be students, that we have conscripted into our family labor force. As mentioned, auto repair might be out, landscaping is already overrun by those whose English is not the greatest, therefore, my career of choice has to do with something that would: a) be beneficial to us in the here and now; and b) be beneficial to them in the present or the future. In other words, a practical skill. Emphasis on practical. Emphasis on skill.
Thus, we have them refinishing kitchen cabinets in our older home. They are unscrewing, power sanding, painting with brushes and spray painting doors and shelving. Never mind that we don’t have safety glasses, I tell them to put on their sunglasses, which of course they’ve left behind in the other home.
I suggest they wear their gardening gloves from last season. Lost them.
Life marches on. I am empowering them to stop putting life on hold.
Sure, we all have indecision and nervousness about the future. Unless it’s illegal, immoral, or unethical… or a total waste of one’s God-given talents… there are no mistakes in life. To be afraid of making the wrong move can paralyze one into never making any move forward.
Therefore, we are pushing them off the cliff with the bungee cord attached. So what if it’s a drop of five inches, rather than 50 feet, it’s the idea of becoming used to the unknown, becoming comfortable with slight discomfort. It’s the idea that they are able.
Hopefully, we might gain some skills along the way and the kitchen might turn out better than ever, too. Rather than flop in life, maybe they’ll be able to fix up homes, a skill of value for themselves or for others.
————-Tags: 20s and 30s living in parents' basement, auto mechanics or culinary arts, college prep?, don't be afraid of the future, go to college or learn a trade?, indecision & nervousnes about the future, involving kids in home renovations, preparing teens for life, pushing kids to succeed