Alex has been very busy "doing stuff," and that's what boys do best. The "stuff" he's been doing has mostly involved nails and wood and bits and pieces of things he's been finding in the garage. He tells me he's building a sled and it is serious work demanding serious time and concentration if it is to be done before the first snow fall, expected this coming Sunday.
Every afternoon, when his schoolwork is complete, Alex rushes outside to get to work on his sled. I send the others out, too, but they're in before I can move the laundry or a pay a bill complaining that it is "too cold" to play outside. Alex doesn't come in. He's "doing stuff."
Yesterday, when I was juggling a hundred things at once Alex came to me and asked for more nails. I answered with my automatic "not now." I hadn't even noticed that I'd spoken the words so I really wasn't prepared when he reacted to them with such earnest emotion.
"But I was using the nails that were in that can and there aren't any more of the ones I need and I think there are more downstairs but I can't go there by myself and I just need..." he rambled on, his voice cracking, his shoulders slumped forward in disappointment. This boy really needed those nails. I thought we could get him those nails, after all. We got him those nails and he was gone in a flash, back to work. "Doing stuff."
Tonight as my husband was tucking Alex into bed, Alex had a lot to say about his sled project. It seems to be coming along nicely. Alex was also thinking about his upcoming birthday. He thought he would like some tools. He doesn't have a wrench and he'd like one. The saw blade he uses now is a little bent and quite dull. He's thinking he could use some other tools, too. He has a hammer he borrows from his father, but he thought he would like a hammer of his own.
I think we can get him that hammer.