Starting out, I could tell his heart wasn't quite in the room but we forged ahead and soon the ideas were rolling and tools being plucked from the workbench. After rummaging about the barn for scraps and bits of usable material I begrudgingly relented that we may need to buy a couple of items new to make this project fly. Calvin was stoked with this news on a number of fronts. Primarily because it meant a pilgramage to the hardware store and a ride in the truck where he just might get control of the radio from his perch in the front seat. Also, I detected no disappointment by the delay in our father/son workshop time for which we were preparing. I took no offense to this, for I too bristle at the mere mention of carefully constructed together time or scheduled spiritual experiences. He's my boy and I knew exactly where he was at.
As luck would have it, my favorite hardware guy was working and his form was impeccable:
Me : "I need 4 ten foot 2x4's"
Hardware Guy (insert thick, barely decipherable - even for a born and raised Mainer - Maine accent): "Haven't got any ten footahs."
Me: "Ok. How 'bout 10 eight footers?"
Hardware Guy: "Not sure how many eight footahs we got."
Me: "Can you find out?"
Hardware Guy takes a deep sigh turning slowly to his trusty computer: "Says we got 28 of 'em but I'm not really sure we do."
Me: "Can I get ten, please...if you have them?"
Hardware Guy tries to upsell me: "Do you want more if we have more?"
Me: "Ten is all I need. And one sheet of 1/2" plywood."
Hardware Guy: "Haven't got any plywood. Haven't carried that in yee-ahs...not sure why."
Me: "Just the 2x4's would be great then...if you have them."
Hardware Guy sighs again: "Meet me 'round back."
We giggle our way out of the store and load up our hard earned 2x4's (all ten). Heading home, I strain slightly to be interested in his music of the moment just as he strains to be interested in getting started early to build something with his Papa. But love prevails and what I really love is how much HE loves his music right now and I could listen to this kid's passion all day. Almost.
Back at the farm, the business of building a brooder for our rapidly growing chicks is at hand. Just my kind of carpentry adventure. No one heavy will ever have to sit on this and the only decor it will ever need to match is barn door. So, with confidence high we dive in headlong with saws and drills, pencils, speed squares, hand sanders and a host of like apparatii. I show Calvin how to refurbish old discarded boards and he convinces me to, "stop pulling things apart and just use this new one right here."
In repetitive rhythm we marked and cut, held and connected, building something together. Sometimes it was one person work and the other was allowed a little space to dream.
Sometimes others came so we put them to work.
Time whisped away and before long we were moving those little birds over to the new digs. And soon a small crowd had gathered.
Ezra opted for the book by the boiling sap.
A sliver of shared time and a bunch of happy little chicks. Though our preferences are often different we always seem to work our way into mutual understanding. He decided to raise some birds of his own and together we built them a shelter.