I'm watching the Steelers game, hoping they don't self destruct. They're losing, but I have faith they'll pull through. Compared to the Patriots who were winning 21-0 and managed to completely blow it.
We had a pretty good weekend. Geoff went with his Boy Scout Troop out to Mt. Chocura on a camp out. Before he left, I was helping him pack his stuff and he was fighting me every choice. He didn't want to bring shorts, because it "is fall." Yes, on the calendar it is fall, but it is forecast to be 80 degrees where you're going so you should bring shorts.
Fine. Sweat your ass off I do not care.
He didn't want to bring a second pair of shoes. "What happens if you get caked in mud? You'll need a second pair of shoes." I told him to go get his hiking boots. He informed me that his hiking boots, which he wore all of twice, were too small for him. I looked at him incredulously.
I bought them this summer. I forced his green beat up lawn mowing Converse sneakers into the bag.
He didn't want a poncho or a day pack.
"How are you going to carry water and a change of clothes for if you are up the mountain and need to change into something if you're soaked? How are you going to carry your poncho that I'm going to force you to bring?"
"I'll tie the poncho around my waist and I'll carry my water bottle."
"Look, kid. You need to be PREPARED in the fall, heck -- in ANY season -- in the White Mountains."
"Every time I go camping, you make me take all this stuff and I never use ANY of it."
"The point is to HAVE stuff if you need it, and if you don't that's all the better."
I ended up dropping him off without a day pack, because I was so goddamn sick of fighting with him about it.
When I picked him up, the scoutmasters told me that he "suffered" for his choice. He only had his one small bottle of water, and he tried to get other people to carry a water bottle for him in their bag. They all said no.
When they all got to the lake, the temps were high and the humidity was annoying. Everyone ended up jumping in the lake for a cool off. Except Geoff. He sat on a picnic bench and watched, because he didn't bring a pair of shorts.
Part of his learning disability is that he thinks he is right, that his decisions and his choices are law, immovable, irrefutable. He doesn't like to take advice and guidance. He feels he makes his choice, and that is that. He didn't whine, he didn't complain. According to Dan and Bruce, he did look miserable. He drank all of his water halfway up the mountain on the 7 hour hike. He ate his lunch without water. He drank like a camel when he got back to camp.
I asked him when he got home if he learned anything from his experience. He said that he did, and that he would be better prepared next time.
Sometimes, it takes him experiencing something to realize he's wrong. It would be so much easier if he just listened in the first place though. Suffering brings ... smarts? Maybe?
His scoutmaster said the next time they go on an overnight with a hike involved they will do an equipment check the day before with him. They are going to give him a print checklist and he will have to have all of the items on the list IN his bag(s). He will have a day pack. And now that I know his boots don't fit, he will have new hiking boots.
It makes me feel like and look like a fool sometimes when people come back to me after having Geoff do stuff like this. Point is though, it's his problem, not mine. The kid is almost 15. He needs to learn. He needs to do. He needs to experience. He needs to mess up. No one else got hurt, harmed, or suffered because of his decisions -- only he did.
And it is my hope that he's got that all figured out now.
In other news, Dave, Doug and I went to the Haverhill Brewfest and had a downright blast.
Doug and Dave were like kids in a candy store. I felt like I was chasing them all over. Both were slightly overserved, which is okay because as the driver I had things under control for myself and still was able to sample a lot of great beers and meet cool people.
At one point I asked Doug, who had the biggest smile on his face if he was okay, meaning "are you totally shitfaced" in wife talk. He laughed and hugged me and said "I'm the best I've ever been. This is the best Saturday afternoon I've spent in years!" He and Dave were talking to brewers, and talking about beer and hops and flavors... initially I don't think he wanted to go, but once he got there he just had a blast.
We had a great time and my write up is over at the Shenanigans blog if you want to go read it. You'll find out why there is green and pink beer if you go read it. Go. Read. You want to.
Alright then. That's about it. I'm going to Ohio on Friday of next week for a memorial service... I'll be sure to write a little about that before I go... and a little after.