We had an old guy over to give us a quote on a new air conditioner on an 80 degree Wednesday (with snow forecast for next Monday, by the way) and he told me not to replace the system yet, saying “If we can get the coils clean, you might buy some time”, which would save us many dollars. Turns out time really is money. So, we set out to dismantle the compressor that sits nestled in our backyard camouflaged by arborvitaes and butterfly bushes, hoping to get the innards clean enough to increase its efficiency enough to brave another Michigan summer.
I’m a blessed dad with three teenage lads who are growing up, learning, and doing more of the heavy lifting. Mac (17) stepped in to help with project AC. We were working on it together for a bit, but, as often happens, I was called to dad in another place for another kid, so I excused myself, leaving the job just started. I went about with cleaning out the dryer vent with Zac and Carter. Was it 2 minutes later that Mac asked me about something?… I don’t know, but I do know that he had taken over the air conditioning job without prompting. He got the whole thing apart, brushed it, sprayed it with detergent, rinsed it off, and put it back together. We threw the power on and, after about a minute of sweat formed on our brow, the AC fired up (iced up?) and cold air moved swiftly through the house.
Mac did the job but didn’t really need me to help. It’s bittersweet. Mostly sweet, because it means that he’s becoming a man. I figure if I can work myself out of a job by training these boys, I’m successful and, more importantly, so will they be. Mac says “I want to learn everything you know about (you name it: cars, electrical, people) so that I’m smarter than you.”
Sometimes I wonder if he already is.