I feel as though I’m missing something. Like a decade or two.
I recently heard about “Take Your Parents to Work Day.” This new trend follows “Take Your Kid to Work Day” and “Take Your Pet to Work Day.”
Kids, pets and parents, in that order. It’s always good to know where you stand.
The husband just showed me a picture of “Take Your Parents to Work Day.” A room full of 30-somethings are standing around their parents seated in chairs.
Some of them look to be our age. The parents, not the 30-somethings.
Oh, all right, a lot of them look to be our age.
It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in a parent conference at the elementary school. The class had created a book in which each student drew a picture illustrating how they felt about school. Our son had drawn a picture of a shark jumping out of the water with the teacher’s legs sticking out of the shark’s mouth.
I’ve harbored a deep-seated fear of any event that requires my attendance as a parent ever since.
Plus, there’s something about “Take Your Parents to Work Day” that seems out of sequence. Maybe it’s because we skipped the empty nest phase. Sure, our kids all vacated at the same time for a few months, but then they started returning home for work internships, student teaching or clinical rotations or to buy time between changing apartments. We flew right over the empty nest phase and went straight to the revolving door phase.
We were a landing strip without the bright lights and control tower.
We knew why they were back. We had storage — the garage, closets, their empty bedrooms — and reasonable rates. Free.
When they all finally left, they married in rapid succession and started having babies. We’re just moving into the “Take Your Grandparents to School Day” phase of life. We haven’t been to one yet, but we’ve heard about them from friends. You spend the morning in your grandchild’s classroom, fawning over their every adorable move, and then the children suddenly go shy and pretend not to know you.
I’m warming to “Take Your Parents to Work Day” — especially after reading about an aesthetics wellness and beauty company that provided free eyebrow shaping services for parents. We’re all for sharing the perks.
Other companies hosting events are small start-ups that want to credit the parents for raising employees with a sense of adventure. They provide lovely catered lunches and send the parents packing with bulging gift bags.
Our son recently changed jobs. When I asked how it was going, he said he thought the new firm appreciated him.
“In the top 10?” I asked, envisioning my gift bag.
“More like in the top 89,000,” he said. He pulled up the company website showing they employ 90,000 worldwide.
If they ever have a “Take Your Parents to Work Day,” it’s going to be very, very hard to find us in the group shot.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.