Writing: The Count Down
For the A-Z Blogging Challenge I wrote 26 stories about one particular summer and called it The Waiting Summer. The "waiting" in the title refers to waiting tables, waiting on my senior year to start, on friends and on adult life to begin. Here are my reflections on writing The Count Down.
In The Count Down, I wrote about my mother preparing me for counting back change to customers. I still remember the day Mom taught me to count back change. I couldn’t do it, and didn’t know I needed to. If my mom hadn’t
me to learn this skill, I would have been in dire straits and probably would
have been let go from the job. Soon after I started the waitressing job, I
needed that skill.
I can still remember looking into the face of my mother, as she taught me. She was (and still is) a very patient person (unlike her eldest daughter) and kept at it until the concept soaked into my teenage brain.
In today’s world, most computerized cash registers tell the cashier how much change to give back, so the skill isn’t really needed. However, when I find a young person who counts back change to me, instead of tossing it in my hand, I praise them to the ceiling and back.
Since that story, there has been some discussion, in my family, about counting back change. If nothing else, family stories will open up dialogue (hopefully good dialogue) and cause some laughter, too.
Writing The Count Down reminded me that:
- My mom has always been intelligent, patient and kind.
- I was incredibly nervous about starting this job, but excited at the same time.
- I had no idea what was in front of me, but as youth (usually) is, I was open to the new experience.
Commenting on a Couple of the Comments
Carol Kilgore commented, “I don't have a problem counting back change, but I am way too klutzy to have ever been a waitress.”
JW: If you all knew me in real life, you would know that I’m not only klutzy, but accident prone. I fall, I trip, I drop things all the time. I’m just glad I didn’t hurt anyone when I worked the waitressing job.
Mary Aalgaard said, “Counting change back, not a skill that is currently taught. It would be a fun math lesson at school, though.”
JW: I hadn’t thought of that, but counting back change would be an interesting math lesson.
Are you recording family stories somewhere for future generations? What was a skill you were taught (by a parent, sibling, relative, caretaker) that has been valuable in life?