Maybe it’s a hangover some Yom Kippur* resolution to be more responsible. I don’t know. It’s not as if it all happened today, but today the difference was pronounced.
My youngest son often feels, quite correctly, that he is the one who gets stuck with all the work around the house. After all, he is the only one living here day-to-day who has the physical ability to do certain jobs, so they fall on him. In addition, he has certain siblings who take advantage of him, so sometimes he really feels picked on. As a result, he often leaves bigger jobs for his brother to do when he is on leave from the army. But THAT sibling has made it clear to both me and his brother, that he can not be the only “doer” around the house. He has certain things he needs to get done over the weekends, and he can not (and should not) need to manage all. As a result, I have taken on certain jobs that the boys used to do (like big grocery shopping buys), and try to leave for them only those things which are really difficult for me. And I have been wondering if when the youngest son enters the army in a few months, if he will suddenly become as responsible as the army made his brother.**
With the above as a preamble, let me note that I have noticed some improvements in my youngest son’s attitude as late. However today it was VERY obvious that a change had occurred.
I set out this morning after sending Ricki off to school on my morning aerobic walk, to be followed by running errands as the stores opened. I arrived home 2-1/2 hours later, shlepping all sorts of objects, including the morning buy of dairy products from the local grocery. I saw my youngest, and mentioned that I had finally managed to buy a replacement for the broken shower head in the bathroom. Without skipping a beat, he asked me for it, and went to attach it. I went to the kitchen, meaning to put the yogurts into the fridge, but could not locate them. Finally I discovered them it the refrigerator, courtesy of my son who had noticed them on the counter. Then five minutes later, he threw something into the trash, and noticing that it was full to overflowing, quickly grabbed it and went to empty it out (a good three stories below).
As he returned I quipped: “Hey, if you keep acting so responsibly, I’m not going to be able to say that the army changed you for the better….”
His reply: “You can always hope it will make me even BETTER….”
*(Yom Kippur is a Jewish holy day, when we try to repent our bad deeds and improve for the future. This year Yom Kippur was yesterday.)
** Mind you, I know I won’t get too much help from the youngest when he is on leave; he is planning to go the route of a combat soldier, and I know that combat soldier trainees typically arrive home exhausted on weekends…..