Mom on the Run: The Next Chapter

I recognize my son’s ringtone immediately. It cuts through any sound, any background, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I don’t like the ringtone, it’s a weird robotic kind of thing, but my husband set it a year ago when I first got my smart phone and I don’t know how to change it, so it stays. And it’s just as well, because my ears are programmed to listen for it; my son calling from college is rare and important, and every fiber of my being is eager to know about and take his calls.

So when the robot music starts I pick it up through the conversation and the radio and the road noise, and, “Wait!” I say, stilling everyone in the car, and bend down to dig through my purse for my phone. I grab it, hoping the ringing hasn’t been going too long, and slide over the blinking arrow. “Hello?”

“Hey,” my kid says nonchalantly, as if he calls me daily. “How are you?”

“Good, how are you?” I ask. I’m pretty sure he’s not checking on my general welfare, though, and I wait for the request that is sure to come.

“Good. Hey, can you do me a favor?”

Aha. Knew it. “Sure. What’s up?”

“I have to have a resume to apply for a job, for this summer, and I don’t have any idea how to do it. Can you help me?”

Aha! Perfect! Something I can do, something that I as a recruiter am uniquely qualified for among my son’s large list of contacts. For one brief and shining moment, right now, I’m important! “Of course,” I say, trying not to sound too glad he’s asked me. “I’m happy to. What’s the job?”

“Cleaning pools,” my son says. Instantly I wonder why he needs a resume to apply to a pool cleaning job, but I assume he wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t a requirement, so I hold my tongue. “It’s with Taylor, so it’s kind of a set thing, but I need to turn in a resume.”

“OK,” I say. For a minute I consider describing a resume format to him – name and contact details at the top, experience header, education section – but then decide nah, that conversation would take too long, and I’m in the car, with everyone being quiet while I talk, and it would be quicker for me to do it myself anyway. He will learn from seeing my finished product. So, “Type up for me all your jobs. The name of the company, the title of the job, your start date and end date, and email it, and I’ll set it all up and send it back to you.”

“Name of company …” his voice trails off.

Ah. Ok. I start again, more slowly: “Name of company, your job title, when you started – just month and year – and when you left the job. That’s it.”

“OK. I’ll get that to you. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” And then, because my son is almost 19 and he’s away in college and he’s almost all grown up but not quite, and because I will always, always be his mom and worry about everything, I add: “And wear sunscreen when you’re out cleaning pools.”

“Yeah, Mom, I will. Talk to you later.”

And my boy is gone again.