Kavi has finished two weeks as a counsellor-in-training at Camp Spark, the all-day local camp she and Anand both went to as kids. She did great, and was very fond of the kids, and very sad saying goodbye to them all on Friday.
She really liked the work overall (though she’s discovered that little kids do complain a lot about heat and walking…their legs are TIRED! don’t you understand???), and is tentatively planning to apply for a full-time job (9 weeks) as a camp counsellor next summer when she’s 16.
I’m super-proud of her. First mini job, yay! In this family, we value hard work.
But I admit, I hesitate to encourage Kavi to look at a career long-term working with kids, because in America, we value that so little, and pay for the work so poorly (see also Florida, which has just decided to allow veterans without college degrees, much less any actual pedagogy training, to teach kids). Even if Kavi becomes a doctor (like most of my family, and something she’s potentially interested in), if she becomes a pediatrician, she’ll be at the bottom of the doctor pay scale.
It makes me sad; I want Kavi to have a financially stable career, one that can support her, and support a family too, if she chooses. That’s damned hard to do if you want to work with kids.
How is it that we claim to love children so much, and yet value their care so little?
Kavi didn’t let me take any photos of her as a camp counsellor (she is curating her photos a little more carefully these days, and I have agreed to only post Kavi-approved photos of her here), so I leave you with a poem, and with the Starbucks-inspired lemon loaf she baked yesterday, just because she felt like it. Well, I leave you with a third of it — the rest was very quickly devoured.
BY BILLY COLLINS
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
red and white lanyard for my mother.
and then led me out into the airy light
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.