The Fixer

Whenever we go to visit my parents in Arlington, there’s a slew of things my mother wants my 15-year-old son to fix for her. I sometimes worry that it’s too much pressure to place on his shoulders, yet he somehow always manages to pull it off. He fixed a printer on one occasion, a DVD player on another. He’s helped her with her computer, despite the fact that all of her settings are in Korean – a language he doesn’t know at all.

A couple weeks ago, my mother told me over the phone that the next time we came, she wanted my son to have a look at her television.

“What’s wrong with it?” I asked.

“It’s not working at all. It doesn’t even turn on,” she replied.

It seemed like a lot to ask of a kid. I could only promise that he would try.

When we arrived, he headed straight to the basement and got to work on the TV. A short time later he reemerged at the top of the stairs and announced that it was working again. My mother’s eyes shone, and she clasped her hands in rapturous joy and wonder.

“I knew you could fix it for me! Isn’t he so smart?” she crowed, “Thank you so much!

And…can you blame this proud mama? My own heart swelled with pride.

Later that evening I found myself alone in the basement with my brilliant whiz kid.

“By the way…” I asked him, “Good job fixing the TV! How in the world did you manage to do it?”

“I…plugged it in.”

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