As a parent there are things one must learn to say to the children regarding issues that appear on a day to day basis. I was always hell bent on making sure that my boys didn’t suffer the way I had as a kid, I really felt that they should benefit from my own suffering. In my opinion, parents need to carefully guide their children and intervene when necessary. It is also important to allow them enough leeway to learn to deal with these things on their own without too much parental involvement. Thus, enter the story of “Fluffy, boy wonder!”
Fluffy was a boy down the street who was my oldest son’s best friend for a time after we moved into our new home in the northeast quadrant of Deerfield. My son’s age (and Fluffy’s as well) was around nine or so when they first met. I don’t even remember the amount of time or span of their so called friendship.
At first, I think it was pretty equal, the two of them knew everyone in the neighborhood. They would ride around the block on their bikes, play games, and just have a good old time. At this point, life was good!
There is always ebb and flow to friendship and for some reason, at some time, this “cool” guy that our son liked to hang around with began to look for greener pastures. My oldest is and always has been a very take charge person, being the guy to call the shots. Fluffy (and this became his code name in our household) decided to try and lord it over our son.
I don’t recall too much of the drama that he created in our family but I do recall that he said things to our son that were no more than efforts to make him feel small about what he was doing in school, sports, and in life. At the time, they were in the local middle school. Fluffy was hanging out with a different crowd that he did his best to keep our son out of. For one of the few times in his life to be affected by such nonsense, our oldest was somewhat devastated. Truly, the nature of the silliness reminded me so much of what girls do to each other in mistreating their friends and making them miserable.
My reaction to this was the creation of the FGPA, the Future Gas Pumpers of America. In the current day and age, for those who live outside of New Jersey and Oregon (where you have to have someone pump your gas for you, as far as I know), or are too young to remember when we never sullied our hands with the essence of ethanol/gasoline, this is something to which you cannot relate. I would also like to say, as well, that this is in no way an attempt to put down the fine people who do something most of us oh so hate. My goal here is to say that despite Fluffy’s apparent “cool guy” aspect and attitude, that very often such characters may soon dissipate into mediocrity. This could easily be compared to those situations where one goes to a high school reunion (something I have never done, maybe I am afraid of it!) to find that the most popular people are overweight, rejects, and societal failures (I am really being mean this morning)! Anyway, I made Fluffy the president of the local chapter of the FGPA and reminded our son that such a title was not something he should try to attain, for although it seemed cool at the time it was no indication of future success.
Fluffy actually did get into a little mischief in the neighborhood, even slinging water balloons at our house and destroying the door screen I had just replaced on the front of our house. His parents are very nice, caring people who just really had no clue as to what was going on. Fluffy and my eldest never did get to a point of reconciling their differences. As with man y of life’s relationships, reconciliation just never took place.
Christian did what he always does and this was just a blip in his life, and on he moved, never to look back. Although I don’t think Fluffy actually belongs to the FGPA, I do understand that Christian experienced a great amount of achievement and success in high school, college, and life in general and I won’t even begin to comment on what little I do know of Fluffy’s experiences. What I do know is that mean spiritedness at any age is something we all have to deal with and the FGPA concept served my purposes well and came to use with our two other sons as well.