Over the last few days I've been working with my son on a garden project to build an arbor and swing.
As we worked shoulder to shoulder, it seemed almost instinctual to teach him how to accurately measure the wood, set up the miter saw, drill the holes and drive the screws.
I was never formally schooled in woodworking, electrical or plumbing repairs, yet somehow I am able to tackle these and many other types of projects with ease. So how is this even possible?
Easy. My dad taught me this.
My dad has always been the consummate handyman. And when I was a kid he would never work on something without first grabbing me and saying, "Jeff, give me a hand with this, will ya."
At the time I used to think he was incapable of doing it himself and really needed my help. But of course I know now why he wanted me there. It was because he wanted me to have the best of what he had, and this was how he was giving it to me.
And now, as I teach my own son how to build his first garden swing, I know exactly how my dad must have felt 30 years ago when he was showing me how to fix a flat on my bicycle or solder my first copper pipe.
He felt proud, hopeful, responsible and fulfilled.
So thanks dad, you've given me the gifts I have been using my whole life, and am now passing along to my children. They truly are the gifts that keep on giving.
Happy Father's Day dad, I love you.