The Boy Teacher and the Father Student #88; Repairs and Assembly
So we had some problems with our chimney. It is only about 30 years old. But it has settled a bit. That causes some of the mortar between bricks to separate. Which is not good. It can leak into the inside of the chimney but for sure it leads to deteriorating bricks. That is not good and besides it looks all, not taken care of. Yes partly just cosmetics.
The caulking or mortar quickset fills in the cracks and holds the old mortar back in place. It water proofs the chimney once again. And this then requires painting which is for appearance but also another water proof.
We are only talking about a few hours. The times taking part is the “cutting”, edging or trim work with a brush. So the boy gets to caulk and roller paint and I settle in for the close up stuff. Yes we made a mess. Yes there was a bit of painting each other. Why not? It makes mom a bit crazy but washes right off.
B: Dad we need one of those sticks to attach to the roller.
F: No we do not. I can reach the top on the ladder.
B: OK. I want one of those sticks. It would be easier.
F: I need more paint to finish the top. But it is in fine shape. With Covid we are really watching the money for essentials.
B: That stinks. And we need a new light for outside too.
F: Yes. And food, gas for the car, Utilities, insurance, mortgages.
B: How long is this going to last?
F: Short answer is “who knows?” The long answer is “who knows?”
B: I like the short answer best hihihi.
F: But hey what does it matter you are on summer break anyway.
B: And you say it is a great time for me to spend so much time with you and mom and we really are bonding more. I got bonding from those nature shows.
F: I can see the long run.
B: You don’t mean that you can see into the future do you?
F: Yes I can. I have done what you will do.
B: So when are things getting back to normal?
F: Sorry I have never done this one before so I do not know the future for that.
B: Have you ever painted a chimney before?
F: More than once. So I know it will turn out nice.
There are plenty of things that I can do well and enjoy doing. I like to garden and I like to paint. Cooking is good, and learning most anything is up my alley. I have a degree that has me liking arguments and learning law and logic and I can apply them. I like teaching and preaching and of course all my outdoor activities. But I do not care for one thing no matter how much I need it or how pleased I am when done. Assembling things by directions.
My wife has a penchant for buying things on line that require assembly at home. And being frugal she buys them on the cheap. I do not do them anymore. Sure a little oversight but in general my 10 year old son assembles things. A cabinet of plastic paperwork shelves came in and it is flimsy as heck and missed a part – non essential, but defective never-the-less.
The boy was all over it before I even knew it had arrived. A wonderful job of reading the directions and then putting them aside. As a writer I have written how to assemble and owner’s manual stuff. I know this fact; If it is made in China the directions will be somehow wrong.
B: Dad, hand me the Allen wrench and stay here to help hold it in place.
F: Yes sir, but just watching you gives me a headache.
B: Dad do you have a phobia about putting things together?
F: Never thought of it as a phobia. Perhaps you are right.
B: Well you seem like you are afraid of assembling stuff from Amazon.
F: At first that sounded strange. But let me think on it.
B: I get nervous about things I am afraid I won’t do right.
F: Cool to figure that out.
B: Hey I finally figured out that you do work. I mean now a lot of people have to work from home. It is like they don’t have real jobs. I have a phobia about my writing.
F: Me too.
B: But that is what you do, that makes no sense.
F: Ok maybe it is like assembling things. I am not afraid of doing it. I am afraid of doing it wrong.
B: Hey dad, this is when you say “This is too deep”.
Opening the Package
Take it Easy
Perhaps the above exchange sounds a bit too adult for a ten year old. So I went back to March of ’18 and checked for the nuances. And again early ’19 and then late ’19 and then right before Covid. And sure enough, the boy has just progressed this far. This series documents the growing up of a boy so far from early 2017 up to Mid 2020. Let us just say from a 7 year old to a ten year old. We love to say “they grow up so fast.”
B: You are horrible on the Clarinet. You should get a teacher like mine for piano.
F: And you need to get a teacher for your brain.
B: Haha, very funny but really you need lessons.
F: I keep working on it. Right now it is more about hand position and blowing right.
B: Duh, that is what teachers are for, like mine.
F: OK I will get one right after the third Thursday of the 10 month.
B: I am ignoring that. Just don’t play it.
F: You are brutal.
B: Dad you and mom are talking nicer.
F: Cool huh.
B: Now I listen and learn good stuff. What does “We’ll talk it out.” Mean?
F: If you have a problem or disagreement, if you love someone, you just pound it out until accord is reached. You do not storm off and you do not quit. Problem with that is time.
B: But sometimes you and I just say “enough for now”. And we quit talking about a problem.
F: That is amazing. Your and my problems are intellectual like solving a math deal. Not personal.
B: OK vocabulary time. You have to try this time. Think hard.
F: Ugh, but I learn so fire away.
B: Gilley Suit.
F: Sniper camo.
B: Long gun.
F: Sniper rifle.
F: Doing something to get attention to another area.
F: About for types of field formation to attach from multiple angles.
B: Quick Scope.
F: Something to do with a monocular distance magnification. No idea.
B: A sniper brings up the rifle just long enough to acquire target and fires.
Do not look all like weird at our focus for military stuff. When I was young it was plastic and lead warriors of Grey verses Blue or Red versus white or US vs. Nazis or Japanese. I doubt the even make toy soldiers anymore – yet gaming is filled with them. During this shutdown the boys play on teams with full interaction. Better than not playing with buddies at all. We adapt.
Another week goes by and by next week the conversation will be even more sophisiticated. I have to work at it to keep up.