Thursday, March 26, 2009


I generally like surprises but I am not a fan of the kind of surprise I got this week. On Monday, my smart and responsible first child came home from school and casually announced (not the first time),"Oh by the way, I need to build a catapult and it is due tomorrow." Surprise! This is the kind of announcement makes mothers cringe because it is loosely translated as, "I need you to stay up late to design, purchase material, and build my homework while I hang about and annoy, argue, and take credit for the final product because I procrastinated until last minute or I promise 'I just forgot' when I played video games all day on Saturday." Ugh!

Not today! I told him I was too busy to help him but if he designed it and determined what materials were needed I would take him to the store and finance the supplies. But that was all I was going to do to help. I admit that I did help "tweek" the design a bit but that was all I would do. He was going to use the hand saw and cut all the pieces (I was not about to allow a 13 yr old to use power tools, plus I figured it would build character), nail, and assemble everything himself. Fortunately for him, as we drove home we saw one of our neighbors in his garage using a table saw for some finish work. After some pleading and a pouty face he had compassion and cut the wood for him. I'm sure that saved him at least 2 hours. Now all he had to do was nail the pieces together.

As I was making dinner I heard whining from the garage. I resisted peeking in on him until after I was nearly done with preparing dinner. When I looked in on him, he was nearly in tears as the wood was splitting and he feared he would have to start over. Frankly, I had the same fear. Gratefully dad came home in time to rescue him. They glued and drilled and did whatever men do in the garage and ended up with a fine looking machine.
I have to admit I am proud of my son for pulling it off. He has a great mind if he would just apply a timely manner, instead of waiting until last minute. It will be fun to watch him grow up and make mistakes and have many successes.

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