The other day, I was watching an episode from the series The Wonder Years and I remembered the first time I found out the names of my parents’ professions. I knew, for example, that father worked with leaden letters. And that was how I had all those notebooks with my name engraved and a stamp for the family’s library. But I had no idea about the name of his profession. And one day the question was raised. By the schoolmistress, who was ready to fill in the chart at the end of the class register where the parents’ professions were noted.
Many of my colleagues replied to the question, boasting about seafarer and housewife. Afterwards, I found out that neither of these words meant some sort of medicine specialist and, respectively, someone who kept yawning. When I arrived home that afternoon, my father presented me with type setter, and mom with reeler. I was very proud to communicate those professions the following day to the schoolmistress.
And I do believe that, back then, us kids didn’t have a clue about what any of those professions meant; we were proud of our parents, proud to know they had another name beside the family name that we also carried. It’s true that sometimes it was obvious that some professions were impressive to others, but I never stopped and wondered why. I was proud of my parents, they worked and people were satisfied with their work. What else could I have wanted?!
I often think that it is the same way with my nephew. He is proud of us, knowing that we are busy working, and he even nicknamed us some years ago with the title workies.