Sunday, April 02, 2006

Going the Extra Distance.

My oldest son has just finished building another computer. This will be his third, and as each one comes about, he gets better and faster at putting them together. This last one is special to's a surprise for the recipient, so all has been very 'hush hush' in our house.

He researched the parts he thought best, checked with his father to confirm his choices.....ordered directly from the importers for mailing straight to Dad's work...and saved over $400 in the process. The parts arrived first thing Thursday morning.

Thursday after school, Cam made his way to his father's work....spent a couple of hours putting the parts together and testing them...I picked him up at about 7.30pm. Friday after school, same story....back to Dad's work to load the required software. Unfortunately I couldn't pick him up, his father had already left to go north for a big softball weekend, and the staff eventually kicked Cameron out at 6.30 when they were going home.

Cam told me he would catch the bus home if he had to, but if push came to shove he would walk. It's actually not that far to my ex husband's place of business, in fact only about 10 minutes by car. BUT, it's down the bottom of the Ngaraunga Gorge, which is a big kick ass hill that has 6 lanes of peak hour traffic shooting up and down it around that time of night.

He went to the bus stop to find he'd missed the bus by 10 minutes. The next bus that turned up wasn't coming into our suburb, so he got back off it. The following bus (40 minutes later), WAS coming up this way, and although Cam waved his arms out to the driver, he shot straight past him anyway. By this stage he decided it would be best to walk. His cellphone sitting comfortably at home on his snare drum, so couldn't ring.

He walked up that damn steep hill, with his school backpack (which must weigh at least 10 kilos, lord knows why he needs so many books in it)...He dangerously crossed those lanes of traffic (yes, I've spoken to him about that already lol)...he was hungry and tired and frustrated that he hadn't completed the job. He was probably also ready to murder the third bus driver. The software had taken longer to load than he expected, and he still had more to do. With his father away for the weekend, he had no access back into the building.

In the meantime I had arrived home from work around 7.15pm wondering where he was. I had rung several times, no answer. There was nothing left to do but wait. Eventually I heard his footsteps heavily thumping up the outside stairs.

He was cold, hungry and angry, and when he walked in the door he came straight at me for a hug. This is my 16 year old we're talking about. Nothing much phases this kid but as I held him tightly against me, he sobbed on my shoulder. There were actual tears, which is saying a lot for Cam, I can't even recall the last time he cried. The frustration and exhaustion had got to him.

Tomorrow is Ryan's birthday. He will be 15 years old. In keeping with what we did for Cameron's 15th, his father and I are replacing Ryan's computer. His current one is very old, very slow and has no CD rom drive in it. In other words, he has an old 'dunger'.

Cameron, bless his heart, has just helped to remedy that situation for his younger brother.


Fortunately, we are family friends of the office cleaner. She too was supposed to be away up north this weekend, but we discovered she was unwell and stayed put, and so he was able to get in today, after working at the bakery. The relief he felt at being about to complete the task on time was very obvious. He's a much happier chappy right now.

For those that are interested...Ryan's new computer consists of a 2.8ghz, 64 bit processor, 80 gig hard drive, 512mb ram, CD Rom burner/DVD player combined...and it comes in a cute little black box with some extra bells and whistles.
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