Today, I’m linking up to Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop. The prompt I chose was to write about a memorable high school job.
My hometown consisted of an intersection, three little country stores (one of which was actually the “beer joint”), a dairy, a cemetery and the Baptist church. And of course, several homes. So, as I was growing up, the prospects for a high school job when the time came were not looking good.
But during my early teens, something happened to change our little town. A nuclear power plant was built about five miles away. The town didn’t grow, as far as new businesses opening, but a lot of people came to the area to build, and later work at, the plant. Most of them were men, of course, but some of them brought their families.
And those families needed a baby-sitter from time to time. Since I was the only teenage girl in that tiny town, I didn’t have much competition in the baby-sitting business.
I remember one family in particular. Their last name was Foster, and they lived in a little house about a mile from us. When I began sitting for them, they had two children: a girl who was around eight, and a son who was probably six. I only remember sitting for the Fosters on Saturday nights when they went to the races. (Ironically, they went to the same track that Motor Man and I go to almost every week now.)
Mr. Foster would pick me up around 5 in the afternoon, and most weeks, it was 1 or 2 a.m. when they got back home. The children were very well behaved, so I really had little to do, other than entertain them, feed them a snack and get them ready for bed. It was a cushy job.
I can’t recall the exact amount in dollars, but I remember that my mom and I were very impressed by the pay I received each time. I don’t know that I had ever told them how much I charged, but what they paid me exceeded whatever amount I would have thought reasonable.
I also remember feeling the trust they had in me. During the second summer I sat for them, Mrs. Foster had another baby. And when the baby was six weeks old, they asked me to sit for them so they could go to the races. I was well aware of the responsibility…..and the fact that my mom was only about a mile away should I need her! I do remember calling her for advice a couple of times.
That first job makes you feel like an adult. Even if you’re still just a teenager.