Summer being officially here the Sank household is settling into our routine. This year the “routine” will be including some time in academic jail for two kids, and a third shift job for the other. The academic jail would be a stint at Huffington Learning Center for one, Mathinasium for the other. Not that either company is bad… it’s just that Mrs S feels a couple 10 week courses for some of the youngsters might give them better tools to perform.
Which I think had something to do with my daughter asking the question “what does ‘gifted’ mean?” That’s a toughie. That’s like me asking “what does ‘nice’ mean?” It’s something to be aspired too but for some of us unattainable. Really, I didn’t know exactly how to answer that question, I suppose it’s best explained as “someone who learns stuff really easily.” Years ago on of our neighbors, a teacher happened to catch me in the court one afternoon. Her kid was certified gifted. At the time she liked to talk about all the great stuff he did, gifted classes, violin, French, scouts, baseball, Destination ImagiNation and on an on. “What do you have your son doing?” “um.. hockey.” “That’s it?” “Well, with our son we have to work with what the Lord gave us.” She was disgusted I’m sure. Actually what I wanted to say was “we got asked to put the kid in the gifted program, but looking at your kid.. I’m not sure these kids seemed ‘tweaked’.” Years later our kid is excelling in college and hers.. well didn’t go to college.
I move on.
The other thing that Summer brings for my children, mostly the ones that aren’t working and the ones that aren’t able to entertain themselves by doing crossword puzzles, looking at the answer key every time and who don’t draw pictures of family and sing to themselves, and who aren’t male.. yes the middle kid I’m speaking off. For him, summer brings mind numbing boredom. Signs your teenager is bored?
- Has watched every World Cup match that has been televised so far.
- The sofa has a big dent that fits his ass perfectly.
- The dog that used to hate him, now sleeps on top of him because he moves less than other family members.
- He’s attempted to answer the phone using the “force” to bring the receiver to his hand and when that hasn’t worked.. just let it ring.
- He returns all text messages in a nanosecond.
- He’s not changed clothes since school was out.
On the other hand, he has been pretty helpful working with Mrs S on the yard. In case I haven’t mentioned it. Mrs S has been extra hard at work doing a boat load of yard reconstruction. For the first 15 years we lived in the house the back yard was little more than a lawn to mow with some encroaching forest in on part. We back up to some really dense woods and the back lawn, especially the northern half doesn’t get enough sunlight in the summer to grow grass so well. It grows weeds really well.
Last year Mrs S extracted the woods part of the yard and replaced it with hostas and mulch. That.. was a lot of work. Much of the woods was buckthorn which was extracted with chains and winch’s. No joke. This year, she decided to do the same thing with the northern third of the yard, that’s a lot of grass. In prep she had me spray RoundUp on the grass, which didn’t really kill it, but certainly pissed it off really good. She laid a brick border and then had seven (7) yards of mulch delivered. Between the two boys and her they wheelbarrow’d the mulch to the yard and spread it around. Which was a two day operation. Once that was done.. couple hundred in plants and the place looked fantastic. Holy cow.
Out comes Sank, also known as the “cold water of realty”. I pointed out that they had ignored the fact that once a while, when we get a really really heavy rain, a stream appears and flows through our backyard to the storm drain we share with the next door. I suggested that we might find all that mulch on the other end of the yard one day. Mr F’n Negative was the comment, or “Ok Sir Buzzkill” as my middle kid put it. Fine, don’t want the input of wise old fat guy, don’t listen.
I hate being right. Really do, it’s a curse and a gift. Last Friday, while we were on our way to the cabin dodging thunderstorms and the like Apple Valley Minnesota received about 3 inches of rain in 45 minutes. That, is a lotta rain. And, when we got back from the cabin on Sunday, guess, just guess what was piled up around the storm drain on the other end of the property? Only about 3 yards of mulch. The path of the river was pretty clear in the lawn and the bare spot where the mulch once was.
I had the middle kid put it back while I sipped a cocktail. Seemed apropos.
I walked out to check to the grass, she was looking a bit long. The kid could certainly mow.. Here’s something new to me, as I got out there, the grass literally looked like it was moving. Honestly! On closer inspection, the lawn was alive with little frogs.. hundreds of them.. all hopping to escape the big bald fat guy who was bearing down on them. I don’t know what kind of frogs these are, but there’s sure a bunch of them out there. What I miss, and we used to have quite a few of these around.. tiger salamanders. We used to get a bunch of those guys crawling around in the window wells to the basement.
So next week the pool passes kick in. That’ll take up some of his time. I’d like to see him do some work around here. I suppose that’s a vain hope on some level.