Monday, April 30, 2007

Coming of Age

Well, today my man-boy was more of a man. I had the brakes done on the van - everything complete - last spring. And when we started hearing that squealing sound in February and took it in because I thought it was the CV joint, our mechanic assured us it was the brakes and as it was much too soon to be having that problem, it must just be a defect in putting the squealers in at the factory. If it was too annoying, bring it in and he would grind them down.... But we were busy and we could put up with a little noise after all. And then it started making other sounds... and then my foot started vibrating when I applied the brakes and I began to think that it might be a little more serious than we imagined at first.

Sure enough, when we took it in to Dave again, the brake on the drivers side was down to the rotor. There had been a defect with the calliper and it had got stuck and worn down the brake pads prematurely... This is the garage where Andrew has been doing a mentorship for the last year - going in for 2 days a week to help and observe and learn and it has been awesome and perfect for him! Well, Dave was completely booked until Thursday but clearly we couldn't drive it any more and it is our only vehicle. So he said that Andrew could come in and do the brakes and he would supervise.

So today, my son did my brakes. And they are perfect. Most of the parts were covered by warranty - we only had to buy a rotor. So the whole thing only cost me $50 and a peanut butter mocha from Midian.

All these years of clothing and feeding him are finally paying off....

And seriously, I see the pride in my son's face at what he is able to contribute to our family. No one else in our family can do this kind of thing. This was not a 'make work' project designed to 'teach' him something. He did something that was necessary - that was vitally important. And he knows it. He has just experienced being needed - of being an integral part of our family in a very real way. This is something too many teens are lacking. This is not something that he could have experienced in school the way schools operate right now. Too many teens today feel superfluous and our education system fails them. We spend so much time trying to stuff information into kids' heads and forcing them to retain it and regurgitate it. Yet psychological studies show that what determines your success and happiness in life is not how much you know but how you feel about yourself. He might not yet know his times tables but ask my son how he feels about himself today... He can learn whatever he wants when he is ready to and he knows it.

3 comments:

katie said...

we need to get our brakes done too.

Andrea said...

too bad you are not a little closer, I happen to know a young mechanic... who works for frozen drinks...

Mary-Sue said...

wow. this is inspiring. i love that you know what's really important in growing up our children's hearts and spirits and bodies...