Today was my day off, so I headed over to the house that once was mine to have some fun with my son. I called in the morning to find out if he wanted to go to one of the local ponds that we frequent, a place where I can fish and we both can swim. His answer was 'yes', so I said I'd be there and set about working on one of my stories for the rest of the morning. I was planning on getting there in time to make him lunch, then getting his stuff together and going to the pond.
It was not to be.
I got a call from Wife a while later, telling me that Handsome didn't want to go to the pond any more.
"Okay," I said. "I'll figure out something to keep him busy for the day when I get there."
She said that was a good plan, and we hung up.
When I got there, Handsome seemed to have his own ideas about what we should do.
"Dad, can you put up my pool? The one in the shed?"
We have one of those "Easy-Set" pools in storage in the shed behind the house. You set the thing out, and blow up the inflatable ring that forms the top lip of the pool, and then just fill it up. As the water rises, the inflated ring floats, pulling the walls up under it, and the thing just sets itself up. 12 feet across, three feet deep and holds 500 gallons. Sounds easy, right?
The theory doesn't take into account having the thing in storage in the shed for two years, getting more and more dirty all the time.
The theory doesn't take into account having to clean off the deck first, including about a half-ton of big rocks and stones that were still on the deck from the time Handsome decided to make a waterfall out there.
The theory stinks.
So Handsome and I started to get rid of the stones on the deck. I got the wheelbarrow out and began ferrying them to the pile behind the shed where they had come from originally. While we were working, I asked Handsome why he didn't want to go to the pond today. If we had left for the pond right when I got to the house, we would have already been in the water by the time I was asking the question.
"Well, if we go to the pond, then you get busy fishing. You get all -" he made a motion as if he were casting - "and I can't get close to you. This way I get to spend more time with you."
Doesn't it just melt your heart?
I gave him a huge hug, and told him I love spending time with him, and we should try to hurry up and get the pool set up so maybe he could use it before bedtime. We spread the pool out and I grabbed the vacuum from the house and started to clean the interior, picking up sawdust and little piles of dirt. I was working away industriously for a while, all sounds drowned out by the whine of the vacuum. Eventually I turned it off and looked around.
No sign of Handsome anywhere.
I went and opened the slider to the kitchen. Still no sign of Handsome, but I could hear the television. I whistled for him. He came strolling out into the kitchen holding a snack bowl.
"So, I guess all that time you wanted to spend with me doesn't include work-time, huh?"
He had the grace to look a little abashed.
"Yup," I said, flatly. "Just melts my heart."
He tried to peek by me to see the pool lying there in the deck.
"All we have to do is fill it now?" he said, his little voice full of hope.
"Nope," I said. "Still going to be a while."
"Okay." He turned and strolled back into the TV room.
Yup. Melts my heart.
Talk to you later!