If you’ve been to our house, you know it’s, well… a work in progress.

Last spring, Josh made some pretty Great Leaps Forward.

So, this picture above? That’s after ripping out several layers of “floor-ish” stuff and leveling things as best could be and laying down a new plywood floor.

This is the view, from the living room during that time, back toward the kitchen. Yeah, that’s the stove, (and the FRIDGE) in the living room.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not, well, anal, when it comes to cleaning.

But this floor looks so damn nice when it”s clean. And it needs a clean sweep every couple of days because of our dirt yard and our crazy-shedding dogs.

Today, I was getting after it, and Alden came to lend a hand.

Me: Buddy, don’t walk into the pile. Um, Ok, here, take the dustpan and… um,oh wait, GAH, no, look, you’re spreading the, here, AGH, you’re spreading dirt back all over the……

Alden straightened. Looked right at me. Put his child-sized sweepy-broom aside ith dignity, and left the area.


I went after him right away, and said, “Hey, bud: Here’s what just happened, I think: I said, I’m gonna sweep the floor, and you said, I wanna help, and then every thing you did, I was saying, “not like that, no, wrong, no.” So, you figured, the heck with it, I’m not gonna help YOU.”

My eyes filled with tears as I described it, and he looked a little glassy as he heard it. I said, “I’m sorry, dude, that was dumb. Wanna try again? Know what would work better?” I suggested that he start in an area and let me come do the cleanup at the end. We worked together after that and swept clean a different area.

It’s not a question of right or wrong…. It’s a question of respect. It’s about treating Alden as a person worthy of respect. A young and inexperienced person, surely. But a person who wants to do it well, and hadn’t yet been shown how, and/or practiced enough to become skilled.

That’s all…..


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