In any event, the fundraiser and the fun and just hanging at a place where more are learning your name, was a worthy cause. So we planned it ahead of time. Our boys made sure they were all able to step in and watch our youngest and take care of my Mom. One is taking summer classes, the other is trying to find new employment (having had to quit his restaurant job due to his food allergy, which is not related to the vaccines he got right before his allergy developed). Our other son just finished the better part of his first week of Police boot camp (or so we call it). Nonetheless, they blocked their Friday to be together and tend to things.
When we got home, our budding police officer went to bed, since he had early rise the next day for scenario and weapons training. Our youngest wanted to wait until we got home before he went to bed, and it being summer, that was fine. Our oldest reported that they made some tailgate vittles for everyone, and made sure my Mom got her fill. They also made sure she got her medications before going to bed.
They watched Guardians of the Galaxy with the young one (not my preference for a nine year old, but I'll let it slide). They then played a game of Monopoly. They do have to learn the art of playing on a curve when playing with one so young. You don't want to let them win, but you don't want to take advantage either. You play at 'basic levels'. But the thought was there.
Finally - and this was the big part - they let us know that they still did Bible study and prayer time before breaking up and sending our third boy off to bed. We try to do that every night. Often the time spirals into an hour long discussion about everything from the latest Marvel movie, to the history of slavery or politics or the historicity of Scripture or moral theology or the ethical vacuum in today's discourse. Even when all the boys aren't there, we do it with those who are. So it was nice to hear, on their own, they made sure Bible study and prayer were done in due course.
For Father's Day, the boys didn't try to outdo last year, since that would necessitate buying another dog. So they settled for a cool retro-game for the PS4 (my youngest's idea), as well as some books, goodies, and an ordered copy of Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old (I'm anxious to see that). A steak dinner is planned, but we didn't try to push that into an already event-filled weekend. As soon as the weather breaks, my former (but still awesome) gourmet will grill me some nice medium-wells and accompanying yummies.
I've often told the boys that the test of their character will come when they are out on their own. Any kid with brains demonstrates good character when their parents are in the room. It's what they do when the cats are away that's the proof. If this weekend is even a minor indicator, I'd say we at least have a little bit of room to breath easily. My kids are far from perfect. They're not completely out on their own yet either. All things considered, however, and times being what they are, I'd say they're not bad at all. And that makes for a pretty nifty Father's Day present.
|Ready to hear the live music as the fundraiser begins to pack in the people|
|My adorable wife enjoying a drink with me after the fundraiser|
|The boys pick up the game the next day (our future police officer (bottom right) won)|
|The boys get together for our son's 'end of first week of boot camp' celebration|
|His choice: Cajun crawfish boil and fixens|
|For no other reason than I love our deck: It's our own little tree-house|
|2 of the gifts the boys bought for me for Father's Day; the steak dinner is forthcoming|