When I told my father that I want to buy new pants or shoes, he usually sighed: “Well, I’ll give you money.” And then for several weeks he worked on weekends. I always took this as something self-evident. “He is my father, he must provide me, and someday I will work to provide for my father’s old age, but it will some day…” I thought.
Perhaps, I would have long believed so, if one day I did not have to go to the country site with my mother – Dad was very busy at work. Before that, I never potted potatoes. And, as she later realized, she never really worked.
When, after returning to the city two days later, my mother and I climbed into the apartment on stiff legs, my father was fussing about in the kitchen. “They’re back,” he rejoiced, “and I prepared dinner for you.” I thought then: “And when does he manage everything?”
A few days later the pain in the back was gone, the arms and legs flexed freely and unbent. About my first “labor” day were only memories.
As it turns out, it’s hard for my father to get money, which I spend on all sorts of trinkets, on fancy things or on sweets. I realized that any work, physical or mental, is not easy. I realized that real work is full dedication to one’s business. And I still marvel at women who manage to educate their children, keep their house in order, monitor themselves and earn money at the same time. I’m amazed at men who, like my father, come tired of work, help their wives in the household. Where do all these people have power, energy? I’m lost in conjecture. I only know that they know how to work really. Probably, many are hard. But they do not complain. Labor is a significant part of their lives, because without it, as you know, even a fish from the pond can not be pulled out.