Men of Mischief | Psycho Bunny

June 20, 2020

7 min read

The last time we spoke to Eric Wertz, a year ago, things were a little different—to put it mildly. But even when the world around us slows down, life keeps going. Especially when you’re a dad tasked with raising your son, and taking on the role of day-to-day educator.

We caught up with Eric—from a social distance—to find out what he’s been up to lately, what being a dad is like in unprecedented times, getting dressed when you’re staying home and teaching his son to do the right thing.

What have the last few months been like for you?

I had a couple weeks off of work—as a master electrician—which was nice, because I got to spend some time with my family, but then my job was deemed essential so I went back to work.

How did you find having to go back to work in the middle of everything going on?

It was stressful, but also relieving. Not knowing how long you’re going to be out of work is nerve-wracking, but being able to spend time at home and being part of my son’s daily routine was really nice.

It was stressful the first little while that my son was home from school, with trying to figure out how we were going to home school him and what the new routine was going to be. Once you get past all the ins and outs of setting up your daily routines, it was nice to be able to wake up during the week and then spend some time with him.

What kind of routine did you guys settle on? I mean—it must be weird to try and come up with a way to teach your son what he should’ve been learning in school, but also all the life lessons that had to be tackled these last few months.

Yeah. My wife was also home, so it was big to have both of us there. They’re doing teleconfer-ence classes, so he can sit down and see his classmates and teacher. It’s really cool to see how he’s interacting. We never know how he acts in school, right? I mean, we know he obviously acts a little bit different around us than he does in class—especially based on what teachers tell us— but we don’t get to see it, you know? So it was cool to see how he interacts with everybody.

Just the other day, he amazed my wife and I. He took some time to acknowledge one of the students in his class who doesn’t speak in class—he only speaks when he’s at home—and the teacher pointed out that he had spoken to her over the phone, which was big. So, at the end of the class, Nathan, my son, told the class ‘can we just take a minute and clap for Tim-my.’ Seeing that made me feel like everything I’m doing is on the right track. Seeing him take the time to acknowledge and encourage another student—it made me teary-eyed to be honest with you.

For me, dressing up makes me feel good. It’s important to me. Growing up, I wasn’t a super confident person, but when I dressed nicely, I felt good and wasn’t as shy; it gave me confidence and made me feel like I stood out.

For me, dressing up makes me feel good. It’s important to me. Growing up, I wasn’t a super confident person, but when I dressed nicely, I felt good and wasn’t as shy; it gave me confidence and made me feel like I stood out.

In terms of teaching life lessons, with people being in such an introspective place, did you find those conversations happened more naturally? Or was it something you were already addressing?

We’ve always tried to be really honest with him and not shelter him. At the same time, we don’t want to expose him to too much, too soon. With the climate right now, we’re taking the time to explain what racism is and it’s sad, because you want them to not know about it, right? Right now, he doesn’t know race, he just sees kids for what they are. So it’s hard. Eventually I’ll share some of my stories to him—being Jewish and some of the things I’ve heard. Ultimately, the goal is to show him what the right way to act is.

On a less serious note—when you’re not homeschooling or dealing with serious issues like racism or a pandemic—what have you guys been doing with your spare time?

Well in the past few months, we got Nathan riding a bike, so we’ve been trying to go for more bike rides. We’ve been going on some hikes, too. There are some trails near us, but they’re super crowded, so we haven’t been too comfortable going there on weekends. We’re lucky that there’s a park down the road that has only one trail that happens to be about an hour or an hour and a half, which is perfect for us—and for some reason there’s not that many people. So we’ve been going there.

We started watching a lot of movies, which is cool because up to now, he wasn’t really into watching movies. Which was good, because he wasn’t sitting in front of the TV all the time. But, like, right now, we’re watching all the Indiana Jones movies, which is really cool because I was super into those when I was younger, so it’s nice to be able to share something that I liked growing up.

Where do you stand on the “getting dressed” versus “staying in sweats” while working from home debate? What’s been your move?

[Laughs] It’s been based on how I feel, honestly.

When I was at home, from Monday thru Fridays I was really trying to stay busy. My wife and I inherited her father’s Corvette, so I wanted to learn how to restore it and I spent some time doing that. I had some other projects I wanted to work on around the house. So I was wearing stuff that I didn’t mind getting dirty.

But on the weekends, it was different. I wanted to still treat them like I normally would, so my wife and I we’d dress up a bit to make it feel different from the normal Monday-to-Friday routine. It’s important to break from your normal routine—maybe that means being a bit more ca-sual, but for me, dressing up makes me feel good. It’s important to me. Growing up, I wasn’t a super confident person, but when I dressed nicely, I felt good and wasn’t as shy. People might not have known that I was shy, but I was, and dressing well gave me confidence and made me feel like I stood out

We’ve always tried to be really honest with him and not shelter him. At the same time, we don’t want to expose him to too much, too soon. Ultimately, the goal is to show him what the right way to act is.

We’ve always tried to be really honest with him and not shelter him. At the same time, we don’t want to expose him to too much, too soon. Ultimately, the goal is to show him what the right way to act is.

What year is the Corvette from? And have you managed to restore it, yet?

It’s from 1978—it’s the Pace Car edition.

I’m baby-stepping the restoration, because I don’t know anything about cars. I’m watching YouTube videos to kind of learn on the fly. My neighbor is a genius when it comes to this stuff, so he’s been helping me. It’s drivable now and it’s actually in pretty decent shape, but it needs some love. The interior needs to be redone, so I’m going to buy a carpet kit and recar-pet it to. I’m pretty handy, so there’s a lot of stuff I can do once I learn how to. Plus, my wife is super smart, so if I get stuck on something, I can brainstorm with her and she’ll come up with a solution. She’s into fixing it up, too. She has a sentimental investment in it, obviously, so that makes me feel good while doing it.

Is your son into it?

I’m not sure, honestly. It’s a two-seater, so he can’t even go in it. I think if he could, then maybe. But I tell him all the time that one day, it’ll be his—he likes that. And he understands that my wife has that sentimental attachment to it, which he likes, too.

The last time we talked, you mentioned that your son was super into clothes and getting dressed in a manner similar to yourself. What about now?

[Laughs] Nah, right now he just wants to be comfortable. He probably doesn’t even care if he has clothes on.

But, you know, I say that, yet if he has to get dressed for something these days, he still cares about it and has an opinion. Or if I’m getting dressed or wearing something, he’ll have an opinion on it and be like “oh, that’s a cool shirt!”

Do you have any plans for the summer coming up?

I’m hoping we’ll be able to explore some of the mountains and hiking trails in the area. We’ve been watching some rock climbing videos online, so my son wants to try and get to the gym and try it—he’s not ready to climb outside, yet, or even watch me do some rock climbing.

We love vacations—but as long as we can be active outside as a family, we’ll be happy.

Keep up with Eric here:

www.instagram.com/bluecollarprep/

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