Let them call it mischief: When it is past and prospered t’will be virtue. —Ben Jonson
I mentioned last week that my youngest son was coming to visit. Despite multiple attempts, this was the first time any of my boys has been able to come here to see me rather than vice versa. We were incredibly excited. That week has flown by faster than any I can remember and now we’re taking him home. I’m sad that he can’t stay longer. Still, we’ve had a very good time. He still has a baby face, so no one expects the mischief of which he is capable. He measures it out carefully.
Sunday, we hiked around Eagle Creek, found a bridge over a quiet stream, and sat and talked while he dug holes in the creekbed with a large stick. He used to complain about long hikes with his brothers. He seemed to enjoy this one.
Monday, we hung out at the mall (because, you know, that’s where the Lego store is) then took some time to watch Batman v. Superman. The last movie we saw in the theater together? The Incredibles and I carried him on my shoulders. He reminded me of that experience more than once. Despite his frequent requests, we did not attempt to reenact that experience.
Tuesday, our mischief took us downtown, starting on Mass Ave. where we played with toys and found a roof-top perch I didn’t know existed. We wound through the maze of memorials and skyscrapers until he got hungry. We hit Tilted Kilt because, you know, he’s 17. Besides, Taps & Dolls doesn’t do lunch and Hooters couldn’t be more passé. More than the over-priced burger and obvious scenic attraction, what does my son remember most about the day? The moist towelettes. He took three. He said they made his skin soft. We finished the day playing chess at Indy Reads Books. Score one for the old man. I can still beat him.
Wednesday was the family trip to the zoo. This was prime silly time as he was dive-bombed by exotic birds, ignored by baboons, and stared at by a very menacing looking cheetah. Had they let him take home a flamingo, I’m sure he would have tried. What was most surprising, though, was that by this point in the week we had worn him out. He was in bed before 9:30 that night; the first time he’s been in bed that early in years.
Thursday, it rained. We stayed home. We talked a lot. We reminisced a lot. He asked questions about his grandparents, whom he barely remembers. We talked about life. We talked about girls. We talked about school, opportunities missed, and regrets.
Friday’s mischief took us to the Dallara Indycar Factory in Speedway. Since Kat had to be at the salon, we took the little ones with us. Those are the pictures below. The big hit of the day was the simulators. Based on how he performed there, I’m warning his mother to not let him drive for at least two more years. The world just isn’t ready. From there, we had froyo for lunch, then started the long walk home. Along the way, we passed several of the 2016 Indy 500 pace cars. Of course, he was smart enough to take a picture.
While his 18th birthday isn’t for a couple more weeks, we went ahead and celebrated a bit Friday evening. There were cupcakes. burgers, and mac & cheese. He fell asleep quite happy.
We’re going to miss him. There is still so very much to talk about. He still has a lot of questions that deserve answers. Perhaps, just maybe, we can make some arrangement for another trip this summer, though Kat’s schedule this summer is daunting. My baby boy is grown up in so many ways, but he still enjoys an afternoon of Phineas And Ferb and a bit of The Batman animated series before he falls asleep at night.
So, this round of mischief comes to an end. I’m hoping there will be more. I’ve missed time like this with all three boys. Who knows, maybe next time we can convince his eldest brother to join him. Although, I’m really not sure Indy is ready for that much Letbetter all at once. We’ll have to see. Enjoy the pictures.