Jack just amazes me nearly every day. Usually the amazement centers on things like "How many times do I have to ask you to do your reading?" or "Have I honestly never told you to sit up straight and stop shoveling your food?" or even "Did you think that was a good idea?". And then that beautiful kid does something that is really helpful, wonderful, and unexpected and gives us a glimpse of the fact that maybe we are successful parents (at least in the areas that matter!).
Jack loves engines, all kinds and for every purpose. He loves power tools from the generator to the handheld vacuum and he uses them at every chance he gets (yes, he loves to vacuum!). He doesn't just love using them though, he loves caring for them and keeping them in perfect working order. His latest pet project centers on our car, the Volvo.
Volvo's are not common down in Mexico. Often when we are out tooling around, people will point at our car. When we pull over for gas, they stand around to see under the hood when we check the oil. They point at the little wipers on the headlights and laugh when they are turned on. They just have not seen a lot of Volvo XCV70's and even though our car is ten years old, it's a novelty. It's kind of funny. The bad thing is, as we found out in Santa Rosalia last year when it broke down - there are no parts and many mechanics don't want to touch it. Which all comes down to the fact that we haven't had our oil changed in quite some time. No Jiffy Lube, no Volvo dealership. Sure, Patrick will change the oil in an old Chevy pickup, but that Volvo seems to be built complicated just so you have to bring it in to the dealership.
The more we used the car, the more concerned Jack was becoming about the oil. Jack strongly advocated we change the oil ourselves. Patrick had brought an oil filter down from the States last time we were there, just in case, but had no intention of using it unless absolutely necessary. Finally, to stop Jack from talking about it, Patrick told him HE could change the oil if he wanted. And so Jack, my very intelligent but very dyslexic child who hates school, started researching on the Internet. After several day's search, he found all the information he needed to complete the project. He had learned the tools he would need, the layout of the engine, the steps to follow and the parts it would require. He showed the info to Patrick who looked it over and said, "OK." Then Patrick helped Jack move the car to a level spot over the gravel. Then Patrick came back into the house and sat down. I was amazed. I couldn't believe Patrick was not going to supervise. Patrick told me he was supervising - he was available for questions!
Well, Jack did come into the house with a few questions, but Patrick never did get up to check on the project. And then Jack was done. The whole thing took about two hours. I am so impressed. I can't tell you how proud I am of Jack for researching the problem, finding solutions, and acting all on his own. I think that's pretty damn good for a fourteen year old. And the car runs great. There is no better present for a mother than to see her child's accomplishments.
4 days ago