One week ago today, I was helping my oldest teenager finish up our January push. All the things we had to try to do before I left for legislative session.
College applications. FAFSA. A few miscellaneous scholarship forms... and I helped him walk through an extremely long job application.
Sitting up very late next to him at the table that night, I asked, "Do you want to apply to work front of house or back of house?"
"What about delivery?" He said.
"I don't want you to do delivery." I replied.
"Why?" he asked with the patience of Job (considering he's a teenager).
"You're eighteen and can decide, but for this kind of job, and just getting started, I don't want you delivering at night. It's winter, and Rapid isn't as safe as it used to be."
"Ok, I'll think about it." He replied.
Our next-door neighbor has a grandson who was a pizza delivery boy in Rapid City a few years ago. After a delivery one winter night, he had both of his legs broken with a baseball bat and was robbed. This is just one example of delivery people attacked in Rapid City in recent years.
On Tuesday, the first day after session, my son called me to tell me he had been offered a job. As a delivery boy.
"Congratulations!" I replied.
Then today, I received a voicemail from my ninety-one-year-old grandmother...
"Hi Jessica, it's Grandma. I understand you're going to Pierre this week, and there's all the talk they're going to attack all 50 capitols in every state, and you're going to be in Pierre, and I'm concerned, and I know you're very careful, but please be extra careful, and I wish you wouldn't even go, but I know it's your job, but it scares me. I love you. Buh-bye."
This afternoon, I hugged my son before he left for his first day of work. I tried to ease his run of the mill first-day jitters and told him he would do great.
No matter how old we are, our family always worries. Whether you're delivering pizza or politics, we do what we feel we need to do without fear. We love each other and pray for each other and know that you can always be careful but that you can't let fear control your life.
So District 35. Watch the inauguration this week. Know that I'll be in Pierre to protect your rights... and my son will be available to deliver your pizza.