Life’s a Challenge, Isn’t It?

Lego bug

Camp Run-a-Pup is in full swing from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and a tail- wagging good time is had by all. People and pups are coming and going from sun up until way past sun down; there is never a dull moment. I juggle food dishes and referee who gets the deer antlers, click pictures, all while reassuring the anxious owners that their pups are doing great.

This year’s summer busyness has been punctuated by Cole’s senior project. He is rehabbing a 1973 VW Bug. The Bug took up residence in our car port in early June, and as I looked at it through my kitchen window, I took a deep breath and fueled my fortitude with Cole’s enthusiasm. Over the following six weeks, Cole learned everything he could about his Bug while he painted, house sat, taxied, delivered, and dog washed to earn the money he would need to cover some of his Bug expenses. In between meeting and greeting campers, I helped him design a blog where he could journal his experience of rehabbing the Bug and solicit sponsorships to cover additional expenses.

August arrived (my busiest summer month) at the same time Cole hit some stumbling blocks and worried that his senior project was too big an undertaking for him. I hate kids sometimes. Taking another deep breath, I launched into a pep talk, reminding him that I was along for the ride and that he had lots of support and reassuring him that he could learn what he needed to know. After all, VW Bugs don’t snap together like Legos and detours are to be expected. Rah! Rah! I then started reading the VW manual at night and visiting car forums. Do you think I will get mechanic overalls for Christmas?

Ironically, Cole misses having his Dad work on his project with him—the archetypal father and son building a car together, the lyrics of country music. The problem is, Dearly Departed, Joe hated country music and could recite his mechanics’ phone numbers by heart, and while he liked classic cars, I’m pretty sure he never saw himself under the hood of a car or pouring over VW Bug manuals. But I said nary a word to Cole and full heartedly agreed it would have been nice to have Joe along for the ride and then went to fill an empty pill bottle with some of Joe’s cremation ashes and put them in the glove compartment of the Bug. No, it’s not the same as if Joe was working alongside Cole, but it’s the best I could do in the moment, and I just wasn’t up to the “he is with you in spirit” pitch. Joe can offer a little spirit intervention, get his spirit hands a little greasy, and sell the spirit pitch. I’m busy trying to figure out how to satisfy a deer antler customer who wants a medium set of deer antlers that aren’t “too hard.” (Vickie, our friend and camp helper, suggest finding a deer with osteoporosis)

Life’s a challenge, isn’t it?

13 thoughts on “Life’s a Challenge, Isn’t It?

  1. Sounds like you have your hands full. Cole will catch on and maybe when summer ends you will catch a break. In the meantime practice those relaxation tips you told us about earlier in the week.

  2. when it rains, it pours. life usually does sort itself out, but it’s hell at times to reach that point.
    stay strong!

    • Thanks. So appreciate good months and passionates kid but by the middle of August I am a bit cranky. . .Need to hammer those coke bottle caps with a little more vigor! Here me roar–or maybe Mewo but I’m working on it 😀

  3. Oh dear, my busyness has gone and infected you, too — I apologize. I didn’t know you could “catch” stuff like that online!

    I know what you mean about being Mama Cheerleader. Trust me, that role doesn’t go away! To this day, Domer often turns to me for a cheer-up talk, and honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we?

    Sounds like you handled the father-son car-thing perfectly. Cole will be glad to have Joe along on this project.

    • It’s the usual summer crazies for me, this year we just added in the Bug ups and downs.
      My Rah Rah is a bit week but Cole did find out what he needed to know and I gave him a hearty high five.
      I can’t help but think Joe is a bit of an ash for not being here—but I have to cut him some slack since it wasn’t his choice….
      My break will come in September but until then I’ll cocktail with my rootbeer floats and my furs on the patio. Might even add little umbrellas for encouragement to carry on 😀

  4. Bruce says there should be car nerd mentors in Chicago that could help with the car…I suppose it’s late now for that. But this did make us sad. 🙁 Hope his spirits have picked up. He’s a great kid.

    • Thanks we will look into Car nerds. A little divine intervention came his way when he learned his preschool teacher husband rebuilt bugs in college. Doug is a great guy and called him right back when Cole called for some advice. They are meeting this week. The challenges and struggle are all part of the project but some parts are tougher than other–as you well know.

  5. You are a great and supportive Mom ..I think Cole knows that. We all get a little overwhelmed at times but thing s will work out.

  6. In the words of a good friend “This, too, shall pass”. Credit to whomever said it first. Your busyness will pass and you will once again be able to breathe and relax a bit. Cole is blessed and he knows it even if it is not evident every single day. You will get through it all—just make sure you wear protective gloves when you help him or your beautiful manicure will get chipped. 🙂

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