The weekend seemed long, but in a good way, I suppose. Mythankfulboy was at his dad’s house Friday night, and he and I texted our goodnights. Saturday and Sunday held baseball games: one win and one loss. This fall Kiwanis league is an odd one – some towns have 2-3 teams (an A, a B, and sometimes a C team), and you could be playing any of them. This has resulted in B’s team (a B team) playing teams with kids still learning some of the more complicated rules, and, other days, playing teams with players with full beards. It’s all good. He and his teammates get along well, play well, and have a good time.
Saturday B worked on painting his dad’s barn, a job he began over the summer with the scraping and sanding portions (sometimes with a friend, sometimes with his dad, but often alone). To his dad’s credit, B is getting paid for this hard work. Sunday B had to help me work on replacing boards on our deck, for no pay. As we packed up the tools and got ready for the Sunday baseball game he asked if he could go to a friend’s house later in the day. I said no, that I needed him to help me on the deck. He said, “It’s kinda like being grounded, isn’t it?” I eyed him but didn’t say anything.
Well, of course I said something, but later, after I’d processed it. On the way to the game I said, “So, I’ve been thinking about your comment about being grounded. I’m a little annoyed about it.” He said, “Yeah. I get that. I was just saying that there’s so much to do this fall that I’m not going to get to do the things I want.”
I said, “Like playing in a baseball game that takes 4 hours out of the day, scootering in the driveway, or playing Xbox?” (all of which he did at some point that day).
He said, “That’s not what I mean. I mean other stuff.”
I said, “Like the stuff I usually say yes to even when it doesn’t really make sense?”
He said, “Yes, I guess. Well, you say yes but my dad never does.”
He added, “I know there are things that have to get done, and it’s okay. You usually let me do what I ask to do.”
“Plus,” I said, “Your dad is paying you for the work you’re doing over there.”
He said, “I know. It’s fine. It’s only for a few weeks.”
Into each life some rain must fall, my boy. May this be the worst of it for a while.
At the chalice lighting last night I told him I was very thankful for his hard work on the deck. I told him that I wasn’t sure I would have been strong enough to get some of the boards up (he said, “Pshaw!”). I also told him I was thankful for the opportunity to teach him some of the things that he would need to know in life about tools, about hard work, and about patience. He said he was thankful I took him to the game when there was so much to be done. I hadn’t been fishing for that, but I’m thankful for his attitude adjustment, just the same.