Saying goodbye to our son Isaac was a mixture of proud sorrow.
This day caught me by surprise. The biggest life decisions are made in what seems like short bursts, and yet they change the course of our lives.
Both our oldest boys decided over our holiday break that they were both going to change directions and start college. As parents, our job is to love, nurture and guide our children until they are ready and able to take the steering wheel. We move from drivers to becoming passengers, and finally fellow travelers, while supportively cheering them on in their own personal journey. It’s a surreal moment when you take that next leap in your relationship. There is a letting go that has to take place, and it requires faith.
When our boys made the decision during our time off that it was time to pursue the interests growing inside of them, we jumped on the bandwagon to help them put the puzzle pieces together in a short amount of time. There were college applications to be filled out and immediately sent. There were scholarships and financial aid to look into. And for Isaac, moving three hours away, there was the gathering of all the dorm room necessities.
Since before the boys graduated high school, they were both an integral part of our business. And with Covid shutting down in-person learning, we had the privilege of having them present even moreso. They have been such important team members at Bailey Builds, and I have loved watching them grow in their abilities and their confidence. It’s not always easy wearing both the mom hat and the boss hat, but we have danced the dance together, and I believe that it has brought a depth to our relationships that will continue to grow.
I think, as entrepreneurs running our own business, there is this satisfying dream of working side by side with your family members towards this common goal that we can enjoy together. I have loved this time we have had with them, daily doing both work and life together. I will cherish all the crazy memories we have made in the workshop and on the road at art fairs. And I know that these experiences will be a great foundation for the hard work they have ahead of them, as they switch gears into higher education.
Our oldest son Isaac has just started his collegiate journey at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, MN. He is pursuing a business degree, which I think totally suits him. He loves the dynamics of how businesses run, and he has had firsthand experience watching and participating in a business grow and evolve. He’s fascinated by the advancement of digital currency and the science of cryptography. He loves people and is excited to surround himself on a campus full of peers. Having him leave home completely has been a big change, and there is an absence in our home that I’m still trying to get used to.
Lincoln is studying at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, MN. He is pursuing a degree in Law Enforcement. With his love of hunting and fishing, he has long been interested in Careers as a Conservation Officer or Park Ranger. I believe that being a part of our Bailey Builds Team has prepared him to be organized and efficient in managing his time as he delves into his schooling. For the time being, we still have the privilege of doing life with him at home, as his college is a close commute.
For most parents, kids leaving for college is a transition that affects their home life. For entrepreneurs of a family business, it also affects work life. We are so thrilled for our boys! Yet, we feel the void of their absence at work as well. Isaac was our full time shipper, and he had the art of packaging down to a science! I smile when I think of all the fun box building races the team would have in the office. Isaac took his job and made it a passion! He was such an important part of getting our art safely and securely out to the public. We are missing him, as we search for the next member of our team to fill this important role.
Lincoln worked with us full time as a store team member and workshop assistant. He was great at being able to switch gears as needed, to help keep our store running, as well as assisting on all the odds and ends needing to be prepped or completed in our art production. I remember the day when he made his first sale of a large piece at the store. He was beaming and I was so proud of him! He is great with people, and I know this trait will serve him well in his future endeavors. And with that, we are also in search of genuine and hardworking team members to fill those positions in our store and workshop.
So, as with any parent of a new fledgling taking flight, I am experiencing all the feelings! Yet, it all comes down to hopeful joy, as I get the great gift of watching them spread their wings! They will do great things! And, as the song goes… “and the beat goes on!” We’re excited for all that’s in store for Bailey Builds this year of 2022! We’re excited to grow our team and the many facets of our business. And we’re thankful that we get to be on this ride!