May 28, 2011

Both Sides Now

 This will definitely date me ~ Do you remember the  Judy Collins song Both Sides Now (1967)   

Actually I was too young to remember this song as a hit (whoosh~ close one),anyway I have been thinking a lot about this song and how it applies to this current season of my life.  The song talks about how the things we view in life can be seen as glorious or horrendous.  The first verse is about clouds and we view them as angel hair then quickly fuss they're blocking the sun.  The next two verses are about love and life.  Each chorus is different but ends with how "I don't really know clouds (love, life) at all"
   Well I am proposing a new verse/chorus. It will be all about the first summer home from college.

        Living at school I'm far from home
        tests, wash and meals done on my own
        Beginning to find out who I'll become
        I've loved this time away
       Now I'm the Mom my child is home
       It seems they've changed; It seems they've grown
       They're used to living on their own
       How do we make this work?                

       I've lived this life from both sides now
       From student and parent
       And still somehow
       It's freshman summer here at home
       I really don't know life at all

OK so I won't be winning a Grammy anytime soon for lyrics LOL
IT really is hard that first summer home.  Add to it trying to find a job and not having a car of your own, no real public transportation and all those "best friends" are hours away it simply sucks.  I get I see it I lived it.  While I did have a job I either rode my bike or took a bus to work. 
     There were tons of summer jobs growing up.  Not in today's economy.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that from last summer (2010) the employment for teenage summer jobs was down 17.5% from the year before.  With gas prices rising many summer travel spots will see decreased vacationers which in turn means less seasonal hires.  In fact the 960,000 summer jobs filled by teens represents the lowest level summer hiring since 1949! Additionally government statistics reveal that the 5,290,000 16-19 employed last July is the lowest July total since 1959*. (This number includes those who have jobs throughout the year as well). Due to the financial stress so many families are facing they are choosing to cut out extra items that could have put cash in a student's wallet.  Nannies, House cleaners, Yard Workers, and even Babysitters seem to be less on demand.
     Many kids were able to secure summer employment when home over Summer Break.  Sometimes it does seem that adage comes true~ No good deed goes unpunished.  Instead of relaxing Spring Break my college student spent her week on a Mission trip to Alaska.  She was "in the 904" for less than 72 hours and I think she slept more than half of that.  Now this isn't to say that she doesn't have any Summer Employment as she will be interning with our church's Youth Summer Program  While she'll be making some money it isn't really going to be as much as she needs to return to school. 
   I do remember those struggles that first summer home.  Being asked who are you talking to on the phone...and long distance charges (yikes).  My parents wanting to know what my plans were, what time I'd be home.  Well on the flip side it isn't as easy either.  Part of that admittedly is this limbo pattern we have right now before her job starts.  When I go out it's where are you going? When will you be back.  I get it she's bored.  It's weird when you're used to having your days all to yourself and then someone else plops into it.
I really am trying to bear in mind what that first summer home felt like and look at life from Both Sides.

Fun Fact:
This was the first song I learned to play on the guitar ~ Nope won't be a trivia question anywhere sorry :0)

* Few gains seen in weak Teen Job Market
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