Friday, October 17, 2008

Whiskey Making and the Art of Raising Sons

Younger Son, who will turn 16 next week, has always provided the comic relief in our family. He has a wry sense of humor and a vocabulary that has always been beyond his years.

He has not always possessed, shall we say, “tact.” When he was about eight, his grandparents took him and his sister to the Jack Daniels distillery that is about an hour’s drive from here. The grandparents, to my knowledge, have never touched alcohol, but enjoy history and local culture and loved the outing with two of their grandchildren.

Younger Son enjoyed it too. So much so that, the following Sunday in church, it was reported that he took the floor in his Sunday School class and gave a very detailed narrative of the whiskey-making process. I assured the teacher (who was maybe a little too tightly wound and might have benefited from a shot of Jack himself) that, while I was not overly concerned about his becoming an alcoholic at such a young age, there would not be a repeat performance. I was able to finish that conversation with a straight face before I stepped around the corner and died laughing.

He has always believed in the benefits of a clear conscience. When he was younger and was reprimanded at school -- or church -- or by a friend’s parent -- or the coach of whatever team on which he was playing at the time (you get the idea), he was always quick to come home and confess, figuring the consequences might be less severe if he came clean before we got the call from the authority figure whose feathers he had ruffled.

He was probably right. It was hard to get too upset with him. His transgressions were always minor, involving typical boyhood mischief and/or running his mouth about something and continuing after a polite request to refrain from doing so. We have had numerous conversations over the years about “speaking when spoken to.” Eventually maturity took hold and, although he can still pontificate on most any subject and likes to have the last word, he has become a fairly responsible young man who is well liked by his teachers and peers.

He still sees the advantage of preemptive confession, though – even when he’s innocent.

He is on a two-day fall break from school. Three friends spent the night last night. Wife and I were in bed long before they were. We found this note in the kitchen this morning, next to a broken plate, one of those decorative types that hangs on the wall:

Mom, I know what you are thinking but this was not us. All 4 of us were in bed at the time this happened and Powell and I both heard it. I know that it is extremely convenient that this happened on a night that 3 friends slept over. The current time is 4:10. We were all in bed by 3:40. I’m sorry if this plate has some kind of sentimental value but please know that this was a freak accident which had no people involved. Love, David

The boy can spin as well as any politician I know of.


Pam said...

LOL!! I'm almost hooting with laughter! This is great!

Preemptive apology?? As a parent/grandparent my first reaction would be of the "me thinks thou protest too much" variety!

I would say you have much to be proud of in your kiddos!

Redlefty said...

The dude's eloquent. He'll be able to get away with just about anything before long!

Hal Johnson said...

HA! Tell him to continue with those confessions when he gets married. Things will go MUCH smoother.

Kelly said...

Yes, I believe I see politics in his future!

Btw....Happy Birthday to YOU, today!!!

Bob said...

Thank you Kelly. I have to change my personal profile now!

Debby said...

Oh, Bob, just too funny. You know, when the boys were teenagers. nothing could strike fear into my heart like the sound of "Mom? I loooooooooove you...." The standard response was a question: "WHAT have you done?"