Hey. So. I started this post and was going to write a little about Scuba and maybe spill the beans that we’re looking at houses together and have been for the past 8 months or so, when the babysitter knocks on my bedroom door where I’m working and says, Hey, Jen. Uh. You’re really not going to like this.
And the first thing I thought was how pretty it looked, all that hanging-on broken glass. Like ice. I didn’t see any blood, so I figured everyone was okay.
Excuse me if I don’t tell this story well. I have had a lot of wine.
A couple of years ago, Nate became enamored with airsoft guns. His friends all had them and he loved them and whenever he had money from his birthday or Christmas, he’d save up and buy one. They were banned from my house, so he had to keep them at his dad’s. Until last month, when he bought a crazy-expensive one and was taking it to his friend’s house down the street where they’d go out in all their gear and shoot things in the easement behind his friend’s house where the power lines run through. For some reason, I reversed my ban, and it was suddenly okay for him to have these things here. When he took the guns to his friend’s house, he’d carry them there in a guitar case, just like El Mariachi.
Whenever they got together to shoot things (and each other), they all wore face masks and gear and I figured it was better than him sitting inside watching TV. I mean, it’s not unreasonable for a 13 year old boy to want to shoot shit up, right?
So. This year for Christmas Nate got a ridiculous amount of cash. He gave some to me to put in the bank, but he also marched over to the grocery store around the corner, bought himself an Amazon gift card, and ordered some guns.
Today as we were sweeping up glass from all over the inside of the kitchen and the backyard, I started asking him how an airsoft gun could BREAK the glass on the sliding door. He was pretty quiet, basically just telling me that it was his fault, and neither of the two friends he had over had done it.
As we were cleaning, little pieces of glass kept falling out of the door so I took a broom handle and knocked all the loose pieces out, which was – of course- really fun. Nate wanted to do it, but I told him that since I had to pay for the new sliding door, then I would get to finish destroying this one.
The evening went on and I made a run to the hardware store for tarps and duct tape to cover the door until I can get it replaced. It was funny, I called the landlord to let him know and he was all: So is everybody okay? Oh, that’s good. You know you’re going to have to pay for that. . .
By the time supper was over I had the entire story. When Nate ordered his latest gun, a pistol, he assumed it was a regular airsoft gun like his other ones. When he opened it and looked at the manual, he saw that it took METAL BBs. (here’s the part where I think he should have returned it, but instead he went out and bought METAL BBs) He was in the backyard today and had taken a lemon from the ground under our tree and put it on top of the skateboard ramp so he could shoot it. When he shot it, he missed the lemon, and hit a metal bar on the ramp. The BB ricocheted off the bar, went clean through a cardboard box he was keeping his gun stuff in, hit and broke a drinking glass on the backyard picnic table, and then made a 90 degree turn into the sliding door, blowing a hole in the middle of the glass.
So the new gun is history and all the other guns must be kept in the garage and never EVER fired here again. Nate wants to pay for the glass out of his money (in addition to working it off by doing some hard labor around here) but I’m going to get an estimate before we work that part out. I don’t think he should have to spend his Christmas and birthday money on it. If he’d earned the money, it would be different, but I feel like it was given to him as a gift to spend on himself, and it would be weird to take it all. He may be reimbursing me for the tarps and duct tape I had to get today, though.
He was pretty hard on himself about the whole thing, but later we were kind of making totally inappropriate jokes about it. I guess that I relate to my kids too much sometimes and when they mess up like this, it’s hard for me to get mad at them, even when it’s so costly. He knows he has to come straight home from school tomorrow (and for however long I say) and do whatever I ask. And, yes, I’m upset about what happened, but I’m not mad. It could have been so much worse. I kind of freaked out when he told me about the gun shooting METAL BBs – there’s no way I’d have let him own the stupid thing, much less fire it off in the back yard, but he’s learning as he goes just like the rest of us and Lord knows I’ve made worse mistakes. Thankfully no one was hurt by broken glass or bullets, and we didn’t have a nasty fight to make him feel worse than he already does.
And, thankfully, there was a cheap bottle of pinot waiting for me in the pantry.