Do you remember the story I told two months ago, about Lynn and her mother? Lynn was the person who trained me at my last job. Lynn didn’t do a lot of training, but she did do a lot of storytelling. She later went into sales, which was a much better fit for her than training.
Here’s the story again, for those who never heard it. You’ll see why I’m reminding you of it soon:
One day Lynn was driving to work on the Baltimore Beltway. Traffic was at a standstill from a car accident, as usual. As she neared the accident, she saw that the car in the accident looked like her mother’s car. She inched closer and sure enough…it was her mother’s car!
In a panic she changed lanes until she was pulled over on the side of the road, right next to the accident. She burst out of her car, crying and yelling, “That’s my mother!” The police held her back until she explained, then they led her to her mother, who was strapped down on a gurney, with her head in a brace.
Lynn looked down at her poor mother. Her poor mother looked up at her, her eyes scared and confused. Lynn sobbed, “Mother, mother! Are you ok, Mother?”
She followed them onto the ambulance.
And that’s when she looked a little closer at her mother.
Huh? That’s not my mother!
It wasn’t her mother! It was some other woman who looked nothing like her mother! She had to tell the police, “Er…that’s not actually my mother. I don’t know this woman…” and slink off back to her car.
That poor woman on the gurney must have had quite a fright: “I’m her mother? Oh no! I have amnesia! I can’t recognize my own daughter!”
That’s Lynn’s story, and you’ll soon see how it relates to today’s post:
Today, I was walking through the church, when Kris’ 18 year old son hollered out to me. I’ve known Kris for about 5 years or so, and her son, Eric, started out at about a quarter of my size, and is now roughly three times my size, and I think he’s still growing. Here’s a picture I took of his family back in December, Eric being the largish one on the right:
If you look carefully, you’ll see that he’s sticking out his tongue. He was subtle about it. I took about 5 pictures of the family and didn’t notice the tongue until I got home. And since Kris’ husband will probably never dress up again in his entire life, this was their very last chance at a nice family portrait. Bad photographer. You’re supposed to notice when the subjects are sticking out their tongues at you.
Incidentally, Kris asked me today if I’d take another picture of Eric soon for some sort of card. I’m not sure if I can. She warned me that he won’t make nice faces for the camera, but that I’d have to try to get him to look good. I’m pretty sure I can’t bribe him into looking nice for the camera with a new lego set, which was how Michael got his Boy10 to look happy during their Official Happy Family of Gettysburg photo shoot.
But let’s get to the point of the story: So, today I was walking through the church and accidentally interrupted a meeting with Eric in it. He hollers out to me, “Hey! You wrote mean things about me in your blog!”
Of course, you all know he didn’t mean “mean” things. He meant “goofy, you poked gentle fun at me” things. You know my shtick. I make fun of just about everyone I write about in The Blog, but without being cruel or disrespectful. Eric is lighthearted enough that I’m sure he can take a joke, so it would be quite likely that I have written “mean” things about him.
If I’d ever written about him.
And that’s the problem: I’ve never written about Eric. Ever.
I’ve written about his mother. I’ve written about his father. Before I started The Blog, I wrote about his sister on Facebook.
But I’ve never written about Eric.
You know how the police will leave out information in their criminal investigations so they can weed out the crazies who think they witnessed the crime, but weren’t actually there? When a crazy person calls in and says, “Yes! I saw the crime!” but doesn’t know an obvious piece of information, like that the weapon was a candlestick or that the scene of the crime was the billiard room, the police know that this person knows nothing about the crime. They know it’s someone who has gotten a little too wrapped up in the news story and the line between reality and fantasy has become blurred.
Much in the same way, Eric has convinced himself that he’s made an appearance in The Blog. “Surely,” he thinks, “I must have been written about somewhere in The Blog. Everyone else has been written about…” Just like when Lynn thought she was looking at her mother, when really it was a total stranger, people see what they want to see.
I responded, “What? Did I write about you?”
“Yes! Mean things!”
“Oh. Well, I guess I’ll…just…have to keep it up, then.”
It was a bizarre conversation. And, obviously I had to come home and write about him. Hopefully, I’ve been mean enough in this post to made him happy.
As you may recall from yesterday’s blog, Nephew13 visited this weekend. You know how when you leave somewhere, you’re supposed to clean up after yourself and “make it better than when you arrived?” We go by the same standard when Nephew13 visits. We feel we should send him home with a little more knowledge than when he arrived.
I have to say, I’m really not sure what his parents are doing with him, because we were shocked, shocked, I say, at the things he didn’t know how to do. We had to give him a crash course on things that surely every 13 year old knows how to do.
We started off slowly by having him trim the tree in the front yard:
And then he sprayed the wasps on the back porch.
Then, he chopped a few cords of wood for us. Boy7 showed him how by first chopping a cord of his own.
Can you believe he’s never re-wired the breakers in the house? Boy9 showed him how it’s done.
We were completely gobsmacked when he said he’d never used a blow torch, so we let him practice by fixing our water heater for us,
He ended the day by changing out the transmission fluid in the car.
He was so helpful to have around that we can’t wait for him to come back in July. When he heard he’d get to come back and help again next month he could barely contain his joy.