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Saturday, Nov. 10, 2001
Taking the boy to work with me this Saturday morning.

Ben is an eighth grader with braces and that peculiar stooped walked prevalent to the breed. As though his body hasn't quite caught up with growth spurts. He is pure grace on rollerblades. Shows occasional glimpses of intelligent conversation. Likes to work and be paid for it.

It's a little early to tell, but I don't think the boy will be on anyone's must-have list when it comes time for college recruiters to call. He just simply isn't all that much into things scholarly, he coasts along, he makes the C's, and a B is cause for rejoicing. He is bright enough, but I think he reserves his mental energy for coming up with one-liners for the girls.

I mean, the kid is acknowledged to have dated every cheerleader in junior high. In one year. Behold my son, the Lothario of the new age. I suppose in that regard, he has certainly been an improvement on the old man.

I mean, come on. Every single cheerleader?

But we will stop off at the Waffle Hut or something on the way in this morning. Have some eggs and a side of hash browns. He enjoys that, the grown-up start of a day. He likes the way the men treat him on the jobsite, because they have seen him in action and know that he will go all day without complaint and ask questions that show he is interested in learning.

I keep waiting for that inevitable slide into teen aged angst that he hasn't shown so far. Maybe, oh just maybe he will be one of the 1% who manage to avoid all that. He approaches me with respect, and I know his humor level is good. When he fails, there is no slamming of doors and blaring of unintelligible sound. I believe him to be the makings of a good man. A working man, and I try to set some sort of an example for him by actions. Try to get his mind and hands connected in fluid motion for construction stuff. It's a little like wiring a circuit board and making sure the orange and blue wires don't cross. Making sure the synapses will all fire in the right order.

Because you'll never convince a teen aged boy to live a good life by words alone.

Did I mention he dated every cheerleader in school?

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