I got a chance to take Olivia to work today for Take Your Child to Work day and it was great. After she pepped up (I let her change into shorts rather than wearing jeans), we did some activities like learning how to write our names in Chinese, we listened to a seminar on electronics recycling, she got pictures taken in a photobooth, and we had lunch. After lunch, we did one more seminar, watched The Lorax in our company’s theater, and I took her to one of our company stores for a quick walk around.
Later tonight, as Olivia, my fiancée and I ate dinner, Olivia even recited some facts back that she’d learned during the day, which made me proud.
I thought back on the times my dad used to ask me to tag along on work trips. He worked for John Deere and it was usually visiting a dealership or something, but it was fun. As we got into our teenage years though, my brother and I were either disinterested in the trips or we had things going on (work/sports/band) that prevented us from going. The last time I remember going to my dad’s work was in the Waterloo plant..I got a full tour and ate lunch with him. I must have been 22 at the time.
It wasn’t the tour that I remembered today and it wasn’t lunch or the road trips either. What I remembered is my dad introducing me to everyone he worked with. It seemed pointless at the time (I had no interest in chatting with strangers), but today I understood what it was like to be at a place I am proud to work for and have a coworker meet my daughter, someone I am proud of. My dad would always throw in compliments as he talked us up. We were in football, we were doing well in some school thing, or even just what was going on in our lives. He wasn’t always good at giving face to face compliments (many men in our family aren’t), but he made sure to give them when he introduced us to others and that was always a good feeling to see that side of my dad. I know there will be a point where Olivia may become disinterested in what I do, but I hope not. Luckily, I work for a company that sells things that kids both young AND old enjoy seeing.