Chapter 3gifts—is my job my calling?

“This Is What I Do”

I’m coming back from my longtime friend’s fiftieth birthday party, so I’m feeling no pain as my taxi snakes through the streets back to my hotel. My driver, though, isn’t doing so well. He’s describing to me the difficulties he faces, as a first-generation American, in raising his second-generation teenage son.

“Yesterday, I come back home at 2:00 in the morning and his mother tells me that he hasn’t said his prayers before bed. So what do I do? I have to wake him up and stand over him while he says them.” He looks up and catches my eyes in the rear-view mirror. “And this is not the first time, you know?”

I murmur something about the difficulties of child-rearing, no matter what one’s ...

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