B is notorious for desperately wanting a toy, only to get bored playing with it a week after he receives it. I began to see that pattern way back when he was three and four years old. Rare was the item he would take interest in long-term, his Lego and wooden block sets being two examples.
So when, after we moved here, he began demanding that J make this toy and that toy for him, I got my dander up. I was quiet at first. Maybe B actually would play with this wooden boat for longer than a week, making it worth J’s time and effort.
Then there was the wooden helicopter. A large wooden helicopter, probably three feet long. Here’s where I started to protest. J was already working so hard trying to get so many homesteading projects done.
“But I’ll play with it, I promise!” B argued.
J built it just to keep the peace.
I don’t think B ever played with it one time.
So after that, my protests became louder and more vehement. As did B’s insistence that he would play with whatever J was building.
Turns out I was always right. If B ever played with one of J’s creations – which all took several hours of work – it was only a few times.
I’m happy to say that no such requests have occurred in the past year, maybe year and a half.
Not from our son, anyway.
However, last year Somebody Else asked J to build a cedar post-and-hardware cloth wall for a keyhole bed that she knew she was going to use to grow carrots. This past spring, he ended up dismantling everything he’d worked so hard to put together.
Last fall, this somebody else was so sure that she wanted to grow strawberries on a kind of vertical garden that she’d seen on YouTube. J spent hours, sweat, and money to build it.
But it didn’t work the way she’d planned. And even though she’s tried to come up with more efficient ways to make it work, she’s come up empty.
Of course, the “somebody else”, the “she”, is yours truly. It hit me in the head like a whack with a two-by-four a few days ago while I was stewing in my guilt over having had J build the vertical garden structure: I’m as bad as my son.
Or maybe I should say, B is a chip off the old block. The female block, not the male one. He and I are both perfectionists, always seeking the ideal world, and when something we hope will bring that world closer to existence doesn’t work, we abandon it for the Next Great Thing.
I’m a hypocrite.
I’m also selfish. I need to think about J, pray about my Great Ideas, research the idea to death, before I ask J to spend his life on my fickle dreams.