My daughter started her internship yesterday.

Ok- so that’s the lead- but what’s the rest of the story?

She applied to a few different internship programs, because as you know, internships are difficult to get, especially if you have few connections.  Many firms are cutting back on these types of opportunities, so for a High School student, finding an internship can be daunting.  Though she interviewed for many, there were not a plethora of offers.  But, she did secure a good spot which more importantly fit her time frame.  (TBH, she needs to look at colleges this summer, and she has a TON of summer homework, plus she takes her second SAT in late August, and oh yeah, because she plays a fall sport, tennis practice begins halfway through August- three weeks before school starts.

Of course- my daughter had delusions of grandeur:  in her mind she was going to sashay into the office and start running things.  I kind of put in perspective that she would probably have a lot of busy work.  As it turns out, we were both sort of right and sort of wrong: though yesterday she did a bunch of folding and envelope stuffing, tomorrow she actually begins a project that is tedious by the sound of it, yet important.  Like anything- tedious but necessary.

Sunday night she had a little attack of nerves.  She said to me “What if I make a mistake?  What if I screw up?  This isn’t school, where I might not like a bad grade, but I know I will survive.  What if I do something wrong?”  I reminded her that she wasn’t performing brain surgery.  She wasn’t defending someone of death row.  And that everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone.  Just because it’s a job and people are supposed to be adults doesn’t make them infallible.  I doled out the Mom playbook and I told her to listen to what she’s being told, take notes, write lists, and ask questions.  Just like she has done since she was four years old and went to Kindergarten.  I reminded her that the qualities that make her a successful student will be the same qualities that make her a successful person in the work force.  I don’t know how convinced she was, but she nodded her head.

I went back down memory lane as I helped her get dressed yesterday morning: I took her suit and blouse out of the closet, secured her necklace clasp, smoothed her hair down under the rarely used headband.  As I stepped back to look at her, all I could think was “How did this happen?  How is my kid old enough to be heading to an office for a “real” job?  Wasn’t she just starting nursery school?” For a second, I had a little attack of nerves.

Yes- I had one of those Mom moments.  I busied myself with making sure she had tissues and her metrocard.  Made sure she knew where the closest deli to the office was.  Straightened her suit one more time. Kissed her cheek as she went out the door….

No.  I didn’t cry.  I didn’t even get weepy.  Because even though this is a new stage for her, I know I have given her as many tools as possible to survive in the real world.  I know I have spent the past 16 1/2 years preparing her to walk out the door and survive in any setting.  I have prepared her to not need me.  And that felt good.  She knows I’m in her corner, but she also knows she can tackle anything she sets her mind to.

I’ve parented her to the best of my abilities.  She will always be my baby, and I will always be her Mommy.  But I know she’s ready to get on with her life.  And I’m ready to get on with mine.

33 thoughts on “The Intern

  1. Congratulations on this very cool milestone! We’re always going to be moms of our babies, no matter how old they get!!

    I made many mistakes in my professional and personal life, and still occasionally draw on them with shudder, but it is what it is. It’s humbling in many ways and has made me who I am today, for better or for worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much to be proud of… as I’m sure you know. I think one of the best pieces of advice you gave her is to ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t think “I should know this so I can’t ask” or “Everyone else must know the answer and I’ll just look dumb if I ask.” Questions show that you are interested and that you’ve been paying attention. Questions are good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BRAVA!!!
    My heart is with yours today. This is the strangest part of being a mommy. It’s beautiful yet brings you pause.
    You did it, so she knows how to do it!
    Your girl is going to kick the world’s ass because she knows you’re in her corner!
    I promise you it’s the coolest damn thing even though it feels weird. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes I think when we screw up is just as much a lesson for our kids as when we’re super successful. It is important to see that while we’re kick ass moms we’re also women. And even though we work hard and we don’t always see the desired outcome. That’s a powerful lesson for our daughters. To know that moms are also women. That will help them create a more balanced concept for when it comes time that they’re moms. Moms are spectacularly skilled, but they’re also real women who sometimes make mistakes. Seems more achievalbe…perhaps?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well said! Daughters have to see their moms do stiff, and own the outcome! I think too many people only expose kids to positives, when really, there are always positives and negatives to any situation

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You are a GREAT Mom! Raising strong and confident daughters is a good feeling, especially when they come back to us saying, “Mama, I did what you said… or Mama, you’d be proud of me, I am a real adult now… or Mama, look how professional I look…”

    So, your daughter asking your advice and letting you help her get dressed for work was a true sign of mother/daughter love/bonding! You can be proud! I wish I knew how to add a heart here… NEED to ask my daughters how to do it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At age16 I worked in an engineering factory on the shop floor, the wages were ‘not good’ the work was repetitive and dull but I stuck it out and the experience helped when starting a real job……….. this internship will stand your daughter well and looking back I learnt more being in my first environment with only adults, good memories.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s all a process. My first job was at a clothing store (I can still fold a t shirt with razor edge without using one of thos boards cause I folded so many). Kids need to mix in a little real world experience. Show them how to put what they learned in school to practical application!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sure she will do great! Plus this will make it easier for her to get internships / summer jobs – something I think really helps a person get a job after college.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is probably the hardest part of parenting, and I’m still learning the ropes. It was actually a lot easier when they were little and under our thumb. Kudos to you and your daughter for embracing this next step.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Letting go as they grow up can be so hard. But you did do a great job with your daughter, as evidenced by her independence and confidence. And now, as you say, it’s time to step back a little and enjoy the fruit of your labor!

    Liked by 1 person

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