Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Skeleton Work

About a month ago, BJ's car needed a repair. The boys and I took BJ to his workplace, which is a federal site that is pretty heavily guarded. The boys had never seen BJ's office before, but we got a pass to drop BJ off and so we took the boys inside so BJ could show us around. It was only then that we realized that George really had some misconceptions about what it is that BJ spends his time at work doing.

Even though we talk about our individual days each night at the dinner table, I guess the boys never really conceptualized that BJ's job really is working on a computer nearly all of the time. The boys have been told that my job is to talk with sad people and "help them feel better," which is about as simplified a version of a psychologist as I can give. We thought they understood that Daddy the electrical engineer helps airplanes fly by looking at numbers on the computer. Silas may have thought that, but George sure didn't.

George was under the impression that Daddy fights skeletons all day at work.

There was momentary dismay that morning when George discovered that Daddy's office looks, well, pretty much like a normal office. "Where are the skeletons?" he wondered. When we picked BJ up that evening, he asked again, "Did you fight skeletons at your skeleton work?" I was half-flabbergasted, half-amused to learn that George honest-to-God thought that every day Daddy suited up, grabbed his computer bag, and bravely drove off to shoot and spear nefarious skeletons for the good of all man- and womankind, four to five days a week, ten hours a day.

Since the unearthing of George's misconception, the idea of "skeleton work" is now freely talked about and explored by both boys. Silas has also grabbed the reins with this concept and is riding wild. Often we hear from one or the other of them, "I think tomorrow when I wake up in the morning, I'm going to spend some time at my skeleton work." Silas and George both have given us several glimpses as to what skeleton work looks like, and they will both re-enact deeds of bravery that skeleton work required of them that day. If I question where the scrape on their hand or leg came from, they'll both tell me matter-of-factly, "Skeleton work." Last week George waltzed around the corner with pink marker stripes on his forehead. When I asked with mild exasperation, "What is that on your forehead?" I was promptly told, "A skeleton bit me on the head at skeleton work. But I shot him." They build small models of "skeleton work" out of Legos, and they both agree that the entrance to skeleton work lies in the water meter in our front yard. Skeleton work will even feed them dinner (pizza, cheeseburgers, and fries) if they just can't make it home in time for supper!

A skeleton work battle wound
A model of skeleton work

The agreed-upon entrance to skeleton work
Busy making components of skeleton work, notably a jail and a screwdriver

Completed jail that is only one of many at skeleton work
So there you have it. Our family is now professionally employed in the underground battle against depraved bony structures that have taken on a life force of their own. If you're ever in need of skeleton removal services, I know a guy. Or two.

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