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At Christmas, Baby Boy Lacy shared with us that he had the opportunity to to spend his spring break working for Habitat for Humanity. My husband and I were, to say the least, surprised. We love him but not for his mad carpenter skills. He’s more the “get by on my charm and have everyone do stuff for me” kind of guy. It’s served him well. He manages to have every one of the people in his life taking care of him in some regard. Whether I’m buying his clothes and shoes, his dad is putting money in his bank account, his sister is making his meals, or his soon-to-be brother-in-law is taking out his trash, he's got it covered. We merely ask that he concentrate on the task at hand—medical school.

But since he expressed an interest in being charitable, we thought we would go along. This is not a side that we see often from BBL, so we decided to ride it for all it was worth.

So, to aid in BBL’s humanitarian efforts, my husband and I wrote two checks and paid for a plane ticket. Somehow my husband and I appear to be a little more generous than BBL because we’re the ones doling out the cash for his foray into philanthropy. Still, we think this may lead somewhere. It’s as if he’s been listening in church, or something.

By all accounts, New Orleans is a pretty sweet place to spend spring break, even if it does involve manual labor. Especially for five days. With some med school classmates. Ahem. Sounds a lot more like a party than altruism. But he really can’t help that he’s that close to Bourbon Street, now can he?

From the beginning, he seemed to relish the idea of this trip. Of course, he needed clothes for his endeavor, including carpenter pants from which he could hang his hammer. (He assumed they would give him one; we were not so certain.) I don’t know a whole lot about hammering but I’m quite certain that carpenter pants are a term of art and not specifically intended to aid in carpenter efforts. And the gloves. Ok. His virgin hands have never seen anything resembling manual labor and we do not need calluses on hands that may one day see the inside of an operating room, so gloves it is.

He packed the biggest suitcase he could find. After all gloves and carpenter pants take up a good deal of space. Along with his “work” boots, the likes of which I never recall having seen before.

To my knowledge, the boy has limited experience with a hammer. In fact, my only knowledge of his skill with a hammer is when his partner in crime, his sister Kate, dared him (at the ripe old age of five), to knock out some glass in the basement of their childhood home. (This was around the same time she dared him to take a fireplace poker to the family’s white leather sofa. He never learns.) And by knock out the glass, I mean an entire window that provided the perfect view into the pool room of their abode. He kindly obliged. His sole effort in home building/remodeling. Not off to a good start.

With his large suitcase packed full of all of the necessities for benevolent behavior, off he went to New Orleans. Day one he’s rained out. Nothing left to do but hit Bourbon Street. Ahem. Yep, nothing at all he could have possibly done.

Next time he decides to be charitable I’m going to hand him a weed eater and a shovel. It will cost us a lot less and will endanger fewer people. (Plus, I won’t worry about getting sued for his less than worthy efforts on a house that is less than structurally sound.)

After all, it’s like that old saying, “Charity begins at home.”

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