Living with a hormonal teenager, as those who have survived the experience know, is a lot like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You never know which one you're going to get coming down the stairs in the morning. Or on a moment to moment basis, for that matter. It is almost like being a torture victim. I never know whether to expect good cop or bad cop. I am constantly on edge as a result.
But this job -- well. It's not that the job takes him out of the house. It's that the job has done wonders for his mood when he returns. He is working for a local farmer, and his first task involved the following:
See the pallets? He had to arrange them, plus a dozen more, into an orderly line. See the giant hay wagon covered with a tarp in the rear of the photo? It was full of 140 bales of hay. He had to transfer all those bales (with the farmer's help) onto the pallets, in an orderly stack, while tossing out bales that were too wet or too moldy.
Most people, when faced with that task, would become grumpy. Many would probably find a reason to avoid doing it. He came home practically whistling with pleasure. Goodness knows what sounds he was making while actually working. He couldn't wait to return the following day, to help her turn, by hand, a field of hay that had gotten rained on, so the bottom of the mounds could dry.
He was practically chomping at the bit to go today and help her on the hay wagon. While she drove the tractor and baler, his job was to stack the hay after it was baled and the kicker tossed it onto the wagon. He got nailed by more than one bale of hay when he didn't keep a close enough eye on the kicker, but he apparently considered that just one more benefit of the job.
Unfortunately, he flat out refused to let me take a picture of him upon his return, all covered with hay chaff and sporting hay cut arms. (He is on to me and the blog now.) But I forgive him because it is such a pleasure to have him in such a good mood. Who knew that hard work for other people was the remedy? It certainly doesn't produce quite the same effect when it's for me.