My son, God love him, turned twenty this year. It’s hard not to think of him as a teenager, though, as he still lacks that special something that signifies him as an adult. No, not body hair; he’s got more than enough of that–inherited from his grandfather, who’s known as the ‘silverback’ (yeah, you guessed it. After the gorilla).
It’s common sense I’m talking about. That undefinable understanding about how to get by in life, how stuff works; that sort of thing. No, not how the internal combustion engine works, because even I don’t understand that. It’s about the basics:
- actually looking for stuff, rather than saying “I can’t find it”, then letting Dad locate it and it’s there right in front of his face
- realising that water pressure builds up in a hose when you shut off the pistol end (and yes, it will pop off when you drop the pistol on the concrete, thus spraying water over everything because the pressure was on too high to start with)
- don’t wear Dad’s good leather sandals to wash the car
- don’t hit Dad up for cash when I’ve just been talking about how little of it I have
- paying attention to what you’re actually doing and not getting distracted by the nearest thing (I swear he has the shortest attention span known to man)
- understanding that YouTube is NOT a source of reliable news
- knowing how gravity works (yes, son—water flows down, not up)
Just a few examples. From this morning.
And while my son may resent being treated like a kid, he often brings it on himself, because he still thinks like one: no responsibility, no cares, no job, no drivers license. Yep, his mother (my first ex-wife) and I still drive him everywhere.
It’s our fault of course. We’ve mollycoddled him (as many parents do when they have an only child), spoiled him (as all parents do with their kids) and not let him learn from his mistakes.
I believe that he will develop some common sense, in time. Like when he’s forty. Maybe.
Oh, well. I still love him to death.
But he’s still not having that cash.