Last night was National Night Out at my job and we hold a big celebration for the residents. I work the event and my wife works at night elsewhere, so by default the kids come with me. This is not a hardship. They love NNO and hanging out with the kids here. Actually they are all ready friends with a few of the residents because they have played with them at a local city park. I love bringing the kids because of more reasons than I should probably try to list.
I love letting my kids see and be part of where I work. I am passionate about affordable housing--about good housing that is. I want them to see that what I do matters. It isn't really glamorous and it sure doesn't pay what other jobs might, but people have a safe clean homes here. Some lived in shelters for two years before they moved in here. To me, that is huge.
I love my residents meeting my family. Yes, I have to maintain professional distance. But there is a middle ground where I think it is not only okay, but really healthy to share a bit of oneself. To show a human side that may not be part of our routine communications.
I love that my kids get to mingle in the very diverse cultures of our resident population. My kids are extremely sociable and always find a gaggle of kids to play a basketball game or something with. We need to give our kids opportunities to work,play and interact with people from many walks of life. NNO is a great venue for that to happen.
So, while I ran a raffle table, delivered water bottles and checked on vendors, they played, ran, ate and had a blast. We were all tired when we got home, but can't wait until next year!