Window Washing: A Life Lesson?

I try to be a responsible parent and to pass on a sense of responsibility to my son. My son at age 17 tries to be independent and in control of his time and actions. Sometimes these “tries” intertwine.

Near the end of the last school year D got a ticket while driving. I was not mad. He rolled through a Stop sign, who among us have not. He got caught.

It did lead to a large fine for which I wrote a check ( the county does not take credit cards even in this Internet age). I told him he would have to work it off. At the moment he was sincerely apologetic and agreed.

We put in 32 new Pella windows last year. It was time for them to be cleaned. There was no pressure to begin until school ended. He had a heavy class load and baseball. June 13. School ends, the clock starts ticking and the games begin.

Better, and much longer, than the Olympics these were The Father/Son Games. Sometimes a battle royal, sometimes a game of strategy much more intricate than chess, sometimes like WWF Smackdown. Since I have a son who is a good kid this never became about whether or not the windows would get washed. It was all about when and who decided when.

I prefer a high degree of certainty. I plan. A schedule. I never expected that he would start Day 1 and work until they were done forsaking all else. He wanted complete flexibility. After all, he had the entire summer. What’s the rush?

Parental push here WHAM.  Son sidestep there. POW. Suggest that he put together a schedule. WHOMP. You didn’t say by when the schedule had to be done. BANG. On and on it went.

With a 17 year old boy there is an art to knowing when to push and knowing when you will get more by backing off. With only a year left until he goes off to collage, I ain’t no Rembrandt. More at a paint by numbers level.

All the windows got washed with more than a week before school started. In fairness to D once he got rolling he took the initiative and worked on a few almost every day. As I said, he is a good kid.

Who will I give life lessons to next year? Who will give them to me?

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

One Response to Window Washing: A Life Lesson?

  1. Frank says:

    I could hear the Batman theme — not the new one, the one from the 60s with Adam West and Burt Ward and Frank Gorshen — when I read the comics words. And so true about knowing when to address things and when to back off with 17 year olds.

    Glad the windows got done. And what a strange world we’ll inhabit when our guys are out of the house, huh?

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