Wednesday, November 10, 2010
A good Grounding
There is always a point in a boy’s life when the father starts to see them as a man. Now, I am not talking about the right to vote, buy alcohol or getting married. Hopefully, the father has already thought of their boy as a man, long before then. The point where the father notices that his boy’s head is good for something other than a hat rack.
That point, came for me when I was 14. That was the summer I learned to juggle. I was grounded, for a month for shooting myself.
Which was okay, there was plenty to do around the house, until my dad decided to go back up to Bumping lake for a couple of weeks. We took the camper and the boat. I was beginning to think that I was off the hook for the grounding, but no luck.
I was now grounded to the campsite. We would get up each day and as soon breakfast was done; I was shooed out of the camper by my mother. I sat there for a few days watching the water and the trees. There was nothing to do, but throw pine. So that is when it dawned on me; this was a prefect opportunity to learn how to juggle.
My mom watched from inside the camper and would come out when I show signs of improvement. By the time two weeks were up, I had learned a new skill. I can still juggle to this day.
One Sunday afternoon, we loaded our things into the camper and raised the jacks. Dad told me to get out and watch for the trees. The camper is 10 or so feet tall and we had already lost the overhead window once because of a tree.
So, I stood out in front, waiting for him to start the truck, which to the disgust of my father, didn‘t happen. That familiar sound of the truck door opening and he was out under the raised hood. The battery was to week to turn the motor over.
The good news was we had an extra battery; the bad news we had run that one down too. He was upset and it didn't help that mom kept reminding him that we were due back at school that next day.
That was when I started to shine.
"How about jumping the batteries, two week batteries have to be stronger then one,” I suggested.
"Might work, if we had a set of jumper cables," he growled
Normally, I would have walked away but I had just spent two weeks learning to juggle and I wasn't in the giving up kind of mood.
"How about wire?" I suggested.
"We don't have any I looked,” he growled again.
He was starting to get mad and that was when it wasn’t a good idea to get in his way.
"Coat hangers are made of metal?"
"A coat hanger won't carry the load,” he groaned, and started to move away.
"How about five coat hangers and a roll of tape,” I suggest, feeling a little nervous.
He smiled and I headed off on a scavenger hunt.
We wrapped the wires in tape and started the truck. He looked at me different that day, less worthless and more like a man.
"You get to tell your mother what happened to her hangers and you are still grounded. No son of mine is going to hit a bullet with a hammer and get away with it."
"I understand," I answered.
He may have started to look at me different that day, but he was still my dad and sometimes a son just needs a good grounding to get the point a crossed.
If you are wondering about how I shot myself, you will just have to wait for the post.