My 16-year-old daughter’s summer job


I always had a summer job when I was in high school. Babysitting; dishwasher and scullery at a hotel; breakfast and lunch bus-girl at the same hotel; breakfast and lunch waitress at—you guessed it—the same hotel. Counter help at the drugstore. Light pool at the local car plant (I was a card-carrying member of the International Rubber Workers Union).

So it goes that Tessa has a summer job this year. It is one that will not fatten her bank account, but that will enrich her life immeasurably. She is minding her seven-year-old brother Luka every day. We are looking at it as far more than a babysitting job. Tessa has goals to reach for the end of the summer, and they aren’t the “Keep him safe. Apply sunscreen. Wear a helmet” kind of goals.

Tessa’s goals are tenfold:

1) Build Luka’s self-esteem by creating small successes, praising, then building on small successes to attain larger ones.

2) Widen his world by taking him all over the city, to Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy, and show him the world without leaving town.

3) Teach him the satisfaction of volunteerism and charity.

4) Increase his social circle and social interactions (last summer we hunkered down and played at home all the time—when he got back to school he truly hadn’t seen any friends over the summer!) by buddying up for trips and play.

5) Foster his reading with the cache of books we borrowed from his school, with his Pokemon cards and with letter tiles.

6) Work on his short-term working memory—testing has shown it is, in his words, “way bad.” I’ll be researching this—more to come later.

7) Learn to love the water, float on his back and dogpaddle.

8) Learn to ride a bike (both of them).

9) Gain some weight (he is so skinny).

10) Have the best summer ever!

For those readers who have had an older sibling on a prolonged sitting gig like this one, is there anything of which I should beware? Pitfalls? Tips? Any little wisdom you could share would be great.

See you tomorrow for Luka’s first foray into volunteerism, building that self-esteem and see it all on YouTube!


3 Responses

  1. Sounds awesome!!!

    You forgot to mention our short stint one summer at the car wash… remember the rye, salami & BUTTER sandwiches ??? EWWW!!!! It was still a fun summer.. I remember riding in the Rolls Royce 🙂

  2. Ah yes, that job at the car wash… Is there any better excuse for teenage girls to wear short shorts??

    Salami and butter on rye, oh my! EWWW is right! And note to fellow readers, I was not, nor was Jennifer, party to any joyriding in a customer’s Rolls—we were invited. Every job must have its perks!

  3. Okay, there’s a contest for you … worst summer job ever. Or perhaps best summer job ever? Winner gets an ice cream cake!

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