Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Look Daddy. Paste it."

"Look Daddy. Paste it."

It is an innocent, heart-felt request from a little girl of about 4 years old. Something she loves has broken and she wants her dad to fix it.

Dad and the deck project.
Most of us have done this. We have asked our fathers to fix something. When we were young, we looked up to our fathers as magical beings. They could do anything. Somehow, they could do the impossible and it always left us with a sense of awe and wonder. As we grew older and needed more adult help - like replacing a hot water heater or building a deck or replacing a roof, or fixing a garbage disposal, we knew dad could help. And he never let us down.

Now that I'm older, I realize that I didn't pay nearly enough attention to the lessons. I can't solder two copper pipes together to save my life. Dad tried to show me how. I just took it for granted that he would always be here to do it, and I wouldn't have to know how to do it myself. That was short-sighted. It makes me wonder what life lessons I missed or screwed up on.

I was a bit of a block-head that way. People tried to teach me things and I didn't really learn from it. If 40-year-old me could go back and talk to 12-year-old me, I'd box my own ears, get in my own face and tell my self to learn something.

The good news is that in a way, I can still heed that late lesson. I still have the opportunity to follow the advice of Sweet Caporal cigarettes:
In the mean time, I realize that I'm a dad now and my kids are reaching the age that I can start teaching them how to do stuff. And I find myself praying that they will listen and learn better than I did.

I also keep my fingers crossed that there is no immediate need to enlist dad's aid on any more large crisis-type projects.

I CAN tell my dad thank you. I didn't listen as much as I should have, but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate it, or that I don't love you.

Or as George tells his dad, "Pop, do you want a shock? I think you're a great guy." Happy Father's Day.

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