Listen, I am a good person. I have a good moral character. Even when no one is looking, I’d say like 99% of the time I do the right thing. I genuinely feel like I have a good heart. I’m interested in learning. I’m interested in changing. I love to hear other people’s opinions on whatever. I pause myself from honking the horn when someone is driving too slow in front of me, because, for many reasons, maybe they have to drive that slow. I really try to put myself in others peoples shoes when I hear their points of view. I do a lot for my family, I help with cooking, cleaning, rides and everything else they all need.
Did I sell myself enough yet?
A couple weeks ago my father in law and I replaced my front steps. He researched what to buy and we ordered it. He then brought over all the right tools and we got to work. He measured everything a few times, and started cutting the decking. Every once in a while asking my opinion on something related to a cut or a certain screw or whatever, even though he already knew the right answer. We worked all day. He the carpenter and me the apprentice. I was the gopher as they say. And when we were almost all the way done he handed me the screwdriver and said “go ahead an take care of the top platform”. He wanted me to do a few of them, so I really felt like I was a part of the entire process. Well, I started and broke the first screw. Then I striped the top so I could not get it out of the decking. We spent a few extra hours just trying to get it out. Him having to take a drive back to his house to get a special bolt cutter because he knew it wouldn’t be a tool I had. He knew I had the “Dad starter kit” toolbox and I wouldn’t have anything more.
After this was done, my wife got the itch to fix up the bathroom, repaint, replace the medicine cabinet, fan and faucet. She said she didn’t need my help, which was true. Outside of her asking me to take the old faucet out, which actually seemed like something I could do. I turned the water off, and got to work, got it all the way off, except for these last two connections that I couldn’t move. I worked at it and worked at it, and finally got one of them off. But, the next one would not budge. I tried and tried. My wife tried too, it wouldn’t move. So, we did what we always do and placed a panic call to my father in law. We Facetimed with him and showed him the problem. Of course, he knew what to do, said he had a tool that could help us, but just as he was getting off the phone he mentioned to try and turn it a little the other way and see if that could help out. So, I started to turn it the other way, and boom, it came off. I was tightening the damn connection the whole time….
My oldest daughter has been redoing her room recently. Buying a new bed, night tables, bureau, vanity and desk. She has made some money this summer and wanted to upgrade her room so it looks like an actual 15 year old girl lives in there. Her bed came and was all numbered and super easy to put together. So, last night, while Mom was out she asked if her and I could get started on her vanity. I figured, the bed was easy, vanity probably was to. Well, then we opened the box and there was two 15 page instructions manuals, with more nuts and bolts and screws than I have ever seen. So many damn pieces I was instantly mad at myself for saying yes. So, we fought a little bit about what to start with. But, thank God, she turned into her Mom. She took the instructions, read them, starting putting pieces in some sort of an order and we slowly started working. She would pause when we got stuck, look at the instructions and really was able to figure out what goes where. At one point I made a joke about how I wished she was a boy so her hair wouldn’t keep getting in my way when I had to screw something in that she was holding. And she said, “I wish my Dad was a man”. And I laughed because she got me good. We worked for a bit, made some really good progress and then my wife came home from her meeting. I had joked with my daughter that when Mom got home I was going to pretend to cry so she would help. But, when she walked in, she already knew that she was going to step in and help. See, she knows the man ( I say that loosely) she married. She made some comment to me about how she would help if I would do the dishes. I couldn’t get out of my daughters room fast enough!
They finished up the vanity and I was really proud of my daughter. I watched her become her Mom in that instance. I knew that she would be able to handle whatever house project she takes on for years to come. I watched her freak out, calm down, and just start, one piece at a time. I saw her patience, and I saw her brain working to figure it all out. I was incredibly proud of her.
In a few weeks my father in law and I will be building a deck off the back of my house. I will make sure the music is on the best station, that coffee and waters are a plenty. I will pay attention, trying to learn everything I can. But, ultimately, I will again be left in awe at what he can do, and what I just can’t.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to change the laundry and not to brag but I don’t even have to measure the amount of Tide I need, I can just eyeball it… I guess maybe I am perfect…