Today was Take Your Child to Work Day, and while I have abstained from participating for several years now, I was talking to my mom and was reminded of how much I loved days like Take Your Child to Work Day when I was younger. I used to go to my mom’s office and file and shred and staple and highlight, and even though they were small tasks, they gave me a sense of importance. It was fun to experience a little bit of what my mom handled on a daily basis, even if I wasn’t always working alongside her or fulfilling any of her actual duties.
Another of my favorite days— tied with Take Your Child to Work Day and second to Hibernation Day, the day we’d come to school in pajamas, have a party, and take a nap—was Career Day. While we were exposed to many interesting careers on Career Day (like martial arts training, limo driving, and being an officer of the K-9 unit) my alltime favorite was pest control. My classmate’s father specialized in bird and bee removal and his presentation got the undevided attention of the entire crowd of usually restless children every year. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, it’s because it’s incredibly easy to capture a child’s attention when you drive a firetruck decorated with a honeycomb pattern and you give them sticks of honey.
Throughout my years of elementary school I looked forward to Career Day, however, when I was in about second grade I stopped going to Take Your Child to Work Day. My mom has been working in the same office for about as long as I’ve been alive and I’d already seen all there was to be seen; if I ever did want to visit her at work again, there would always be another opportunity. I decided to go to school second grade year and I’ve done the same every year since because there is something so wonderfully strange about going to school on Take Your Child to Work Day. Going to school on Take Your Child to Work Day is like going to school on a weekend or really early in the morning for a field trip— the hallways are practically deserted and it seems like by being one of the few people there you’ve become part of a big secret. It’s a silly feeling, but ask any kid and they’ll tell you the same thing. The best part about being in on the secret is that your teachers treat you differently. There is no lesson or classwork or homework— there are only a handful of students to a class anyway so it’s not like there’s any point in giving assignments— instead, you get to play board games, watch movies, or even roam freely. And to students who’ve grown tired of doing the same thing every day, the change in classroom activities is welcomed as a godsend.