Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Important Work

How old were you when you knew what you wanted to do with your life? I don’t mean that “what I want to be when I grow up” sort of thing, but really knew the path you were to take?

When I was in grade school, I went to school with a boy named Patrick*. Patrick was from a family of eight siblings, a good Catholic family, in mass every Sunday; all the kids and the parents. Mom stayed at home to raise the children, dad went to work every day. The kids were all close to their parents, but Patrick was certain the sun rose and set with his father. Patrick wanted to be just like his father, and Patrick’s father was a plumber.

I remember Patrick talking about sometimes going to work on the weekends with his father. He was the only one of the boys who actually wanted to go. Patrick’s dad would let him carry his toolbox and hand him whichever tool was needed for that particular job. He said his father told him being a plumber was “important work” and it takes a special man to do it (hey these were the 60’s), you have to take Plumbing Courses and work with another plumber who can “teach you the ropes”. The prospect excited him, I thought it sounded gross. I was a girly-girl who didn’t even like the thought of getting dirty.

Patrick did grow up to be a plumber, not just any plumber though, he owns his own company and it is consistently voted number one in the city in which he lives. I think his father would be very proud of the important work his son is doing.