Silent Bonding

The old garage had a layer of dust from certain neglect and a bit of a musty smell that took a few decades to develop. The dilapidated workbench was quickly cleared, as the man approaching middle age prepared the surface to work on the broken mailbox. The little blond-head boy watched his dad pull out a screw driver and chip some of the rust away from the screws he needed to remove.

A Short Story by CJ PowersAn idea popped into the little boys head. He quickly ran across the backyard and into the house. The dad turned the box around looking for the one angle that would allow him to break the rotted 4X4 free from the box and remove the rusty screws.

As he was chipping away, he suddenly realized his son was standing next to him holding a glass of Coke. The dad smiled, took the glass from his son and took a big swig. Feeling refreshed, he gave his son a wink, but received a glare in return. The dad was perplexed and thought for a moment. He observed his son’s crossed arms and anxiously tapping foot. Something was amiss and he wasn’t sure what to do or say, so he continued to work on the rotted wood.

Just then the chunk of wood broke free and the rusty screws fell onto the workbench. Out of the corner of his eye, the dad could see that his son was frustrated. Thinking his son expected him to down the Coke, he took another gulp and noticed his son’s eyes follow the glass from his lips, back to the workbench. He took pause and then he knew what to do.

He turned to his wide eyed son and said, “I needed to reduce the liquid to the right level for just a couple screws.” The boy twisted his face into a quizzical look, as his dad dropped the rusty screws into the glass of Coke. The boy smiled and leaned forward to watch the ragging bubbles consume the rust.

The dad was relieved, and thankful that he remembered the lesson he taught his son about how to get rust off of a bicycle chain. A smile came to his face and he jostled his son’s hair. He was proud of his son for his ingenuity and memory.

The little boy looked up at his dad with pride in his heart. He was finally able to please his dad by helping him. He felt like he grew two inches that day and looked forward to working side-by-side in the garage again.

At the front of the house the little boy steadied the post, as the dad screwed the mailbox onto the new 4X4 with shiny screws. The smiles on the two were so obvious that the little boy’s mom, who was watching from the front porch, knew something special had happened. She immediately ran outside with her iPhone and snapped a shot of the two standing next to their successful project.

It was truly a bonding moment and the mom knew she had captured the memory for years to come. Wanting to better understand what transpired, she asked them what they had talked about in the garage. In unison they said, “Nothing.” The little boy’s mom gave a piercing look to his dad.

“What?” questioned the dad. “We just pried off the rotten wood, cleaned up the screws, and mounted the box onto the new post.” The mom saw sincerity in his eyes and looked down at her son. The little boy was beaming and nodding in agreement.

A smile broke out on the mom’s face and everyone hugged. It was a good day and she wasn’t about to push any further and enjoy the moment. After all, she had captured the  special father son moment – Whatever it was that happened.

 Copyright © 2012 By CJ Powers
Photo © J and S Photography –

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