Four Foundations

Growing More Than Veggies

Farmers Market
Image by tamaradulva via Flickr

Last year was not what I would call “a good garden year.”  I failed to keep up with the cucumber bugs and they did a number on about a quarter of the garden.  The good news?

  • I visited a lot of local farmers’ markets
  • I discovered a new produce market
  • I learned a lot

On a trip to the produce market, I watched an “employee” stand on his tiptoes to dump crushed ice on to one of the displays.  At the same time, his “employer” let him know that when he was finished with that task there was a label gun with his name on it.

Across the aisle, one of the managers said, “It’s hard for him.”

The employer responded, “I know.  That’s OK.  It’s good for him. He’ll figure it out.”

By now you’ve probably guessed that this is a family-run business and that the “employer”  and “manager”  are parents.  The  “employee” in question is their ten-year-old.  Naturally, I couldn’t resist complimenting them on letting their child participate in the family business.  The Mom (who had cautioned about the difficulties of icing displays) was happy to chat.  She was quick to let me know that her son preferred to come work with them than be with a sitter or  play with friends.  She and her husband we excited that their son was learning some of the skills and attitudes that had helped them build a successful business.

We all work hard to give our kids “the best”  and long hours can sometimes leave them wondering why we are gone so much of the time… sometimes even wondering if we like being at work more than we like being with them.  At the other end of the spectrum are parents who work from home but too often use their children as an excuse to not work the business like a business and then complain that others don’t take  them seriously.

What does your relationship with work look like from your child’s point of view?  What do they actually know about what you do?  And, is there a way they can get to know that part of your life?

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