Papa Builder and I have owned our own business in one form or another since we started our life together in 1997. The current form of our business has been taking shape since 2002 after we returned from a year-long stint in China.
You'll note that the Boy Builder was born in 2003 and thus has been living in the throes of self-employment since his first day on the planet.
Sometimes, this living and working and playing and learning and growing at home is a challenge. Sometimes it's such a challenge that I throw up my hands, tear out my hair, and cry tears of frustration. But, truth be told, this is how humans have done things from the beginning. We have always worked and played and grown all at once, in the same place. And children have always, until very recently, been right there in the midst of things, learning the trade and talents of their parents and developing their own along the way.
And when I can have the perspective (and am willing to accept the influence of my sweet, smart husband), I can see what a really amazing thing it is for Eden to grow up with us, in all our chaos and craziness.
When we have conversations about problems we're trying to solve with work, Eden has always been right there and now that he's 6, he jumps right in with creative solutions. For example, here's a sketch of the outside of a theoretical showroom Heliocentric might one day have:
Eden's also the only kid I know who understands how solar power systems are put together, has opinions about brands of glycol, and knows how to use a refractometer. (Go ahead, look it up; I didn't know what one was until a few months ago myself.)
Working from home is on my mind because I've been doing a lot of it lately. Heliocentric has been short-handed and Mama Builder has had to hang up her coveralls on some days and sit at the computer and on the phone and in meetings with clients. It is reassuring to know that even on those days when it's the hardest to juggle all my many responsibilities that the Boy Builder is making out OK. Because, really, that's what it's all about.
The Sometimes Reluctant Business Maker
P.S. It's been snowing for 2 days and the Boy Builder insisted I leave the computer glow and head outside for some adventure this afternoon. We saw, buried under the layers of old snow and new snow green leaves! It felt like a magic leprechaun inspired treasure hunt! We were also scolded thoroughly by a blue jay for coming too close to its nest and found numerous magical tree shelters hidden behind curtains of "tree thicket", as Eden called it (can you tell we listen to lots of British children's literature?). There are some tangible advantages of working with a 6 year old. :)