I was having dinner at a restaurant with my 20 year old son, enjoying the one on one conversation he was forced to have with me.
During the month or two before this dinner I had noticed he had been spending many hours in the basement. I didn’t know what he was doing. It sounded like he was talking on the phone or watching videos.
Since cell phones have become frequent guests at most dinner tables, he was busy looking at his phone.
He asked me if I would like to see the website he had recently launched. Silly question. I had no idea he had been working on a website. He works full time as a machinist. He had apparently been working hard in his spare time.
His iPhone was the whatever number plus model so it had a big screen. He showed me a very professional looking website he had designed to promote his new business. It looked like he had put many hours into this project.
He told me he had taken an online video course to learn how to do social media marketing for small businesses. He had always been a technology whiz kid so I wasn’t surprised he had landed in a tech field. I was more surprised that he had learned the whole business and launched this website in his spare time without my knowlegde.
In casually looking over the website, I noticed a few typos in the copy. I pointed them out, and suggested that they made it look unprofessional. I offered to proofread everything. This was the beginning of a collaborative effort for his new business. I was excited having been out of the work force since before he was born to see an opportunity to use my education and experience in the field of marketing to help him get this business going.
We discussed my backgound in the field. He seemed startled to learn that I had a bachelor’s degree in marketing from NYU. I was shocked that he was acting like he was hearing about this for the first time. I’m sure I had told him about this before, but I suppose it speaks to the self absorbed nature of being a kid that he only sees me as “Mom”. My diploma hangs on the wall in my home office. It says “New York University” at the top.
As he was recovering from the shock that I had finished college, I continued to look at his website. I wasn’t exactly sure how social media marketing worked, so I asked him to explain. It sounded fascinating and definitely like something I could offer help with.
I went on to tell him that I had worked in marketing for a software company and was responsible for writing advertising, sales support materials, the company newsletter, product documentation, and any other marketing or advertising material that was needed. I also coordinated trade shows. I told him about my first job out of college in sales of banking automation equipment. He acted like I just told him I had landed on earth in a space ship.
He asked a lot of specific questions like, “You wrote copy?” “You know how to sell?” Um, yes, son, that’s what I said. I got the impression he had no ability to see me as anything other than his mom. I suppose this wasn’t so far fetched since I had never worked outside of the home since before he was born.
There had been numerous occasions throughout his life when I needed technical support as most parents who are immigrants to the digital age will. Those in my sons generation are natives of the age of online. They would struggle to understand how someone who worked for a software company couldn’t figure out how to update the software on her iphone. No matter how often I explained that I worked in the “stone age” before there was the internet, and we somehow managed to conduct business without cell phones, they persisted at asking how I could be so dumb sometimes.
I played along with my son when we came home from the restaurant and pointed out my diploma on the wall. He maintained that he really didn’t know I had done all of those things before he was born. Imagine that. Mom was someone before she was Mom.
The website: www.primereachmedia.com
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