Business as Usual...
Is it just me, or does it seem the older you get the busier you are? I’m sure that pendulum eventually starts to swing in the opposite direction and I’ll be wishing for a little more busy in my life. However, for now I feel full to the brim with the stuff and would love to give some of it away if I could. Children don’t seem to get that though. Most kids are champing at the bit to become grownups as soon as they possibly can. My daughter's goals of being an adult, like most pre-teen goals, are to be able to do whatever she wants whenever she sees fit. I keep on trying to tell her that that reality doesn’t exist for anyone at any age, but of course Mom doesn’t know what she’s talking about. My son, on the other hand, wants to grow up for a whole different reason. His goal in life, as of the seven years he’s been blessed with on this earth, is to make money. He even has a couple ideas of how he’s going to make this happen, college being number one of course.
So it’s very normal for him to come and share his thoughts on how he will succeed and what he will buy everyone when he does (got to love those Capricorns). A couple of weeks ago our conversation changed some. It was still about business, but he wanted to start it sooner rather than later. Like right then and there sooner.
He came with a handful of pictures he had drawn and asked me my thoughts of him selling his pictures for a profit. He believed that his artistry business could make him money. My heart melted on the spot. If I can be a writer and a nurse, he could be a kid and an artist. The thought of my son wanting to stretch his entrepreneur legs because he sees Mommy doing it was my epitome of awesome in that moment. So, did I drop everything I was doing to help him with his business plan of attack? Hell yeah I did!
Now his original idea was to draw pictures, whatever came to his mind and set up a stand outside of our house to sell them to the people driving by. That idea was cute and definitely got the mommy "aww" face of preciousness, but no super mom worth her salt could let her kid sit outside to sell his art. If he was selling lemonade or popsicles, sure, but how many people would stop and get out of their air-conditioned cars to buy printer copy paper pictures? Even then, it’s too hot this summer for my baby to bake under the sun’s heat to try. And there’s the fact that if he’s out there burning, I would have to be out there as well. Let’s just say there were many factors against that idea.
However, Super Mom (that’s me by the way) came to the rescue. I told him to get those little hands to drawing and I will be his silent partner/secretary and find him some buyers.
My two close girlfriends were in before I could finish telling them what he was trying to do and of course grandma wanted in. Just those three orders alone he had commissioned 15 pieces of his art to be sold. Each buyer had a special request for one of their many pictures. One wanted a picture of a dog, another wanted a picture of a dolphin and the last buyer wanted a picture of a big flower. I stopped there so he could work and not become overwhelmed…
My mom told my dad what my son was up to and how even at seven he was dedicated to his vision, his artistry. The very next thing my dad did was call me to give me wise words of parental advice. That wise father of mine shared:
Daddy: “Me girl?”
Daddy: “I heard about my grandson starting a business.”
Me: “Yeah! And he’s doing so well. And…”
Daddy: “Me girl.”
Me: *Confused* “Yeah, Daddy?”
Daddy: “You’re being played, me girl.”
After that last statement he shared one of his hearty laughs and told me to give him a call once I realized what he was talking about. He then gave the phone to my mom and we talked about how my daddy was wrong on this one. Later on that same day, I found out one of the reasons why my son was so eager to start his business. He thought he had lost his wallet with his birthday and holiday money in it. Yes, the boy, like his father, can pinch a penny.
However, I knew where his wallet was and went to go and give it to him. Right when I was going to grab it, my dad’s words replayed in my head. What if he was right and as soon as I give my son his wallet his dreams and aspirations of starting a business would be dashed. I was almost ready to tell him I was mistaken and leave the wallet where it was, but that would’ve been wrong, right? I’m playing; I knew not to do that, but a thought is not a crime.
Any who, I gave him his wallet and I received a huge hug and the best mom in the world spiel for its return. I was still on pins and needles as I carefully asked if he was still working on his art for his buyers. And my sweet boy replied, “A business is still a business!”
Ha! Another super hero cape floating moment for Mom! I mean, I was on a role. Two moments in one week, I almost shed a tear. Okay, I did shed a tear. So my dad was wrong and I was right. And my son is going to be a millionaire by his twenties, or so I thought.
In the next week to come, I was noticing that his earlier dedication was definitely waning. To the point of, Lego Batman had more of his attention than his work. Who am I kidding? Lego Batman had of all his attention. I tried everything to get his devotion back to his craft. We looked up art ideas online. I tried to constitute a work with Mommy hour, where I would write and he would draw. And when that didn’t really work, I even went to outsourcing.
His artistic sister happened to be grounded and he needed an extra pair of hands. I brokered a deal between the two so he could finish the commitment he had already made. She got a portion of the money, because in a business nothing comes for free, and he got to hang out with his big sister without her venturing off into her own entertainment. A stroke of genius on my part, right? Well, it didn’t work. My daughter started to cry the song of her people of how life in general is so unfair and my son would sneak off to commune with his many forms of electronic games.
Okay, this is where some parents would throw in the towel and call their friends and family (buyers) and resend the orders, right? Wrong again, I don’t believe in giving up on something you have promised. So my children and I sat at the dining table and made the best darn pictures as I rejoiced in the song of their people for the whole time. After we finished, my son announced that he will be going into early retirement and was opting just to be a kid for the time being. This was great since with my own fledgling pursuit of writing on the way, I didn’t have the time to keep his business going as well.
My son went back to Lego Batman; my daughter went into her room to read the same series of books for the fifth time in a row. I buy her other books, she just refuses to read them. Yeah, this venture didn’t work out as I had planned, but they are doing what they should be doing anyway, being kids. And I see great things in both of their futures, so there’s no need to rush.
With that being said, as my kids busied themselves with being who they are, I finished my own business for the day. I took a moment to let out a breath, grab the phone and call my dad to let him know he was right, again.
Happy Monday everyone!