Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

You be the judge

A sign of the times or part of the natural order of things?

My 13 year old son has decided in the last couple of days that he wants to make our coffee in the morning. I’ve been doing this for our household since the day we set it up, and for myself for more than a decade before that. I bought my first coffee grinder in grad school (back in the Carter Administration).

So, naturally, I feel a little like an old buck being challenged by a young buck. I was happy to hand over lawnmowing responsibilities, but this is coffee, which is oh-so-close to the heart of things.

Is this the new order in our Obama-nation (my son almost believed me when I told him after the election that Alabama was going to be called Al-Obama from here on in)? Or is it just what happens to us middle-aged guys as our children naturally marginalize us? (Perhaps I can talk him into doing our taxes this weekend.)

Discussions - 7 Comments

See if he'll do your grading!

I know that this is damning with faint praise, but he writes almost as well as our entering freshmen.

This sounds like looking a gift-horse in the mouth. (granted, coffee is very close to the heart of things--but it's great to have coffee waiting on you, so long as someone else has made it well. I would note, too, that coffee-making is a task for the menfolk. The bible says, "Hebrews."

This is what I tell my husband, anyhow.

Your son is not marginalizing you. He is looking to the pattern you have set of what a man is and what a man does. In your house, a good man serves his family by making the coffee. Your son is seeking to be a good man. How lovely that he wants to participate in doing what you describe as "oh-so-close to the heart of things."

Why are you complaining?

Kate,

Thanks for putting it into proper perspective. I was feeling sorry for myself, pathetic loser that I am.

Pathos is in it, but I thought I was reminding you of what a good job you must be doing. If I were a better writer I would have put that across.

Since your son sees in you what is important about being a man, then I ask, what are you complaining about? The important things are not doing the taxes or mowing the lawn, which are things society forces us to do. No. What's important are those matters "oh-so-close to the heart of things". In this case, we are speaking of family rituals of service, which express love. In your family's case, one of those good, manly expressions of familial love is the making and serving of the coffee. He is 13 and he sees that? You are doing something grand. You have taught him to look for the good, true, sweet things in life.

You are on safe parental ground, so long as he makes good coffee. Start worrying when he offers to pour out the bourbon.

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