Between the hurricane-related school closures and teacher workdays, my son has been home a lot lately. It could be nice to have him around–theoretically. We could hang out together, he could join me on my afternoon run, or we could go to museums in D.C.
Actually, he does stuff with his friends and tells me when he needs a ride.
Theoretically, I don’t mind driving him places. He has friends and activities and I’m glad he enjoys them. If he would like to be at the basketball court at 4:00, and he asks for me to take him I’m more than happy to adjust my schedule to do so.
Actually, he tells me at 2:00 that I have to take him and a friend at 2:15, which actually doesn’t work for me, so I move some things around. At 2:15 his friends aren’t quite ready, so it will be more like 2:45, so he paces around my office talking about sports while I’m not writing, and at 2:40, he gets a text that says someone else’s mother is driving them there, but he’ll text me when he needs to be picked up.
Theoretically, he’d get some reading and homework done, shoot some hoops, or finish that model that’s been lingering in the basement since last Christmas.
Actually, he’s in the basement yelling at Call of Duty hackers and lag-switchers, or throwing a ball against the wall to practice fielding. He can throw a ball against the wall for a surprisingly long time. The wall is under my office. I need a Motrin.
I hated Economics in college. I didn’t understand the value of hypothesizing about theoretical markets that behaved in predictable ways. When was the last time you met anyone rational, especially where spending money is concerned. The world is not a theoretical place.
But then again, theoretically, I could have the perfect Stepford son. Actually, my son is pretty cool just the way he is. As long as I can get some writing done. I should be able to, since he goes back to school today. Theoretically. Actually, he needs a ride. Better go get the keys.
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph by Steve Cadman © 2006 Creative Commons