Driving along on the way to church, he chirps it from his throne behind Daddy. “My teacher was happy at me.” It’s the Cheerful Little Cricket, our newest scholar who loves kindergarten and everything about it.
“Why was she happy at you?” I say, wanting to know.
“’Cause I remembered ‘juicy details.’”
“Juicy details?” I ask, looking for a few myself.
“Yes. It makes a good story.” He’s confident in what he knows. “Mrs. Davies asked us, and I remembered.”
Ah. So they’re learning about story writing, and Teacher’s told them how to craft a good one. Daddy and I, we’re laughing. Oh, the love of learning that little ones have. An utter delight is what it is, and a blessing, for sure.
Happy “at” him, huh? Well, I’m feeling happy “at” someone myself. That would be his father, the venerable Mr. Schrock who’s at it again. For weeks, he’s had a bee in his bonnet. And when that happens, well, stuff happens. This time, it’s a long-overdue remodeling project that he’s tackling with both hands.
Every Saturday, the downstairs bathroom explodes into a beehive of activity. Suddenly, it’s the set of Home Improvement, and he’s Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. While Al and his flannel shirt are missing, we do have a pleasant fellow named Kirby who comes by to help. He doesn’t wear flannel shirts, Kirby doesn’t, but he shows up in a tool belt, which, by all appearances, he knows how to use.
Lately, I’ve been catching The Tool Man standing in the bathroom, not saying a word. His eyes scan the walls, follow the line of the ceiling, sweep over the floor. He’s got The Look.
Whenever I see it, there are two things I know. First, he’s either plotting the next steps in his logical, orderly mind, or he’s visualizing the end result. Likely both.
The second one is this—when he’s in that mode, it’s best to keep moving because anything that sits still will get spackled, leveled, sanded and painted before you can shout, “Tool time!” I know how he rolls.