Last night after dinner, Twizzler (my 10 year old son) and I headed to my best friend’s house. Tonight is the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby and the poor kid didn’t have a car yet. The block of wood has been sitting on a shelf in our family room for weeks.
Knowing that Dad didn’t have the right kind of saw to shape the car and that he’d be home from work late last night, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I asked Safire’s wonderful husband, Juice, for help.
Juice and Twizzler (yes, even I am laughing at their nicknames now…) retreated to the kitchen where they began planning and then cutting and then smoothing the car. I chatted with Safire as she got the kids ready for bed, and eventually ended up playing on my iTouch on the family room couch. I could hear sawing and vacuuming and other manly sounds coming from the kitchen. Those men were all business.
And then I heard the voice of my 10 year old rise above the sounds of tools and saw dust. “So….Wanna talk or something?”
Juice chuckled. “Sure. What do you want to talk about?”
For the next 30 minutes, one or the other of those boys was talking non-stop. Juice patiently explained the reasoning behind design choices and why the heaviest car doesn’t always win. It was all technical talk. Twizzler followed along as best he could, interjecting to offer his take on pinewood derby car mechanics and to answer the occasional question.
And I couldn’t help laughing to myself in the other room as they continued talking, wondering if either one of them would have said a word to the other if Twizzler hadn’t said “So….Wanna talk or something?”
And I couldn’t help think how different the conversation would have been had women been involved in making the car.
Women are all about the relationship. How things looks and how they make you feel. Men are all about getting a job done. Talk is a space filler.
In the end, though, Twizzler left with a fantastic (though plain) car for tonight’s pinewood derby race. They got the job done.
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