There are days when it is important to recognize your children and give them more than a little praise to acknowledge that they are admired and appreciated by you. It is one of those lessons it took me a long time to recognize, I could tell them daily how much I love them but for them it became routinely to hear me say those important 3 words. It wasn't until they became teenagers that I realized you have to be sincere and tell them with a special tone how you see them become unique and amazing.
Today is one of those days for me, three weeks ago my 16-year-old daughter Mayah started a new job. The reason why she is working is really because since we moved from one state to another, she has had a hard time making friends and socializing in the same way she did in Tennessee, she did not want to enroll in any of the extra curricular activities and she had all afternoons free. Last December she started working in a youth clothing store located at a very cute shopping village near the house, maybe three afternoons a week. That allowed her to make money for Christmas presents, some extra clothing and she started saving because she wants to buy a car, she has this dream of traveling through the 50 states once she finishes high school.
Unfortunately, when the end of the year festivities ended, the clothing store reduced working hours and was calling her to work every two weeks for a few hours, the rest of the time she was watching TV or useless YouTube videos in the afternoons after school , and maybe some of you will think that this is normal and common in our adolescents but the truth is that it is deadly for my daughter, not only she gets depressed but she spends her time eating, she starts gaining weight and this kind of luxurious time becomes an avalanche of loneliness and emotions that get out of control. So we had the conversation to look for an activity in which she could be active and maybe she could hang out with young people of her age since in the clothing store all the other employees were much older and experienced drama in their lives totally unnecessary for Mayah to witness.
After a few days we asked her to get involved in the horse back riding club at the school, I thought it could be something that will hit right on target with her needs but she did not want to join because she thinks that the girls of her school in that program are a marvel of luxury and extravaganza, very affluent and she wouldn't feel comfortable ridding with them ... so what to do? While I was looking for jobs for myself, I saw a position that sounded perfect for her. It was to work in an equine stable in which they do therapy for horses, they required someone who could do a couple of hours turning in the horses, attending the tack room and doing tasks related to horsemanship. I told Mayah and she had the initiative to call immediately and ask if the work was still available. The owner and trainer of the establishment listened to the message and called her the next day and did an interview over the phone. She has been working in this place for three weeks, I tell you this hob has served my daughter a lot for two reasons:
1. Keeps her physically entertained, makes her walk and move a lot after having been sitting for six hours at school and she is learning from the activities they do at the establishment and how they handle horses, which is a little different from the places she has been exposed to for the last 4 years.
2. He has to drive! Mayah has a driving permit but not the license yet, to get the license she has to drive 50 day hours and 30 nights hours plus she has to present another more comprehensive exam than the one she completed for the permit. So after school I pick her up and accompany her to work to monitor her driving and help her with guidance.
Today I'm sitting in the tack room waiting for her to finish her chores and I feel very proud of her, the way she behaves with her boss and how responsible she is, for her tenacity in this climate! It has been so awful cold. Most afternoons the maximum temperature is -13°F and although sometimes it is strenuous work, she leaves happy and tired. I just love seeing my little girl on a mission to get what she wants and try to do a good job. God willing in the Summer she will be able to work more hours and learn more about the therapies and ride the horses. It has been a valuable experience so far and if she overcomes the winter the rest of the year will be a breeze! So today, as soon as I see her finish her work I will share during our drive back home lots of praise, hoping she feels motivated to continue...