Okay, that was cute.
Lance and the boys just headed out the back door, wielding wrenches and grunting as they approach today's Bachelor Camp lesson: turning off the power.
Well, maybe cute's the wrong word; there's some serious brawn involved when four men armed with tools set out to conquer a few unsuspecting valves. Men and tools are serious business, to be approached with serious faces and more than a little testosterone. (They just came back into the house exchanging “bones” and high-fives, grabbed Rocky's toolbox and headed down into the basement.) If you've ever wondered how men bond with their sons, this is how – it smells of grease and sawdust and the outdoors and it has its own vocabulary, which you'll be the one to teach your sons not to use in other settings.
The deep talking that men – even junior men – do with each other takes place under cars, in duck blinds or on basketball courts. It's just easier to talk if they're all DOING something. Right now my sons are learning how to locate and shut off the water, gas and electricity mains coming into the house, and how to change a faucet washer to stop a leak – but they're also learning how to solve problems, how to take pride in their work, and how to take care of other people. You know – they're learning how to be men, and they're learning it from Lance.
They're back for a moment to show me the “bad” washer. They must search through our washer collection for a good replacement – Rocky selects a perfect fit and does the “I was right” dance. Red and Jack practice the dance in case they are ever right sometime. Now they're trooping off to the garage for something, three lanky ducklings cavorting behind the steady gander.
The downstairs faucet will no longer leak, and that's good. We won't have to worry that when the boys are on their own they might smell gas and not know what to do about it, and that's good too.
But the most important lesson they're learning while they're all DOING something is how a good man acts. They are very lucky boys.
Lance just came in anxiously querying, “Sweetheart? Where's the Vaseline?” I'm not even going to ask.