Friday, June 16, 2006

My Dad Taught Me This

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.



Anonymous said...

That was beautiful! Lucky son, lucky Dad and lucky you. Positive family legacy's are the best.

Anonymous said...

How can I be my snarky self when you write such a beautiful post? I can't make fun of Fatherdom when you put it that way.

Happy Father's Day to you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff, that was very nice!!! Some day all your children will be thanking you and Charlie for the things you are already teaching them. Remember, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree". It makes one sad to think that a lot of children never get that break.

Anonymous said...

ok jeff- you win! You're the good child. BUT...did you hold the "hot" wires, while dad checked out if they were working?! Or see if the light socket worked, while you plugged it in??!! Or any number of other things that shorted your brain out?! Maybe that's my problem!! I guess the point was, that we got to "work" with dad,hu? To this day, I can still wire and do plumbing! Always special. Memories we'll never forget. Happy fathers day,dad, I love you, and you taught me lessons in life that dont come in books!Your WONDERFUL, one and only daughter!!

yellojkt said...

My dad is a good auto mechanic and I always had to help him. It didn't take.

Mooselet said...

Since my father's philosophy was "Don't fix it, duct it" I can tell you 101 uses for duct tape. I also learned the difference between a real screwdriver and a 'mom' screwdriver (a butter knife). That's about it. Thank God for my husband, who is very handy.

A lovely tribute to your dad, HM.

Suburban Turmoil said...

Cool. Dads rock. The good ones, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Jeff: I still hold the spark plug wire as I GENTLY pull on the rewind to check for spark. I admit I may have pulled too hard on your sis, as she did end up with curley red hair! (See you Saturday)

Anonymous said...

I can't count the number of times my kid schlepped over to ask Bill to fix something. If he minded, he never let on. And when we drove up and spent a week with Bill and Lois a few years ago, he went over my whole car before I left to make sure it was safe to drive home. (He replaced a tail light.) Hope you guys all have fun tomorrow. Happy Father's Day Jeff and Bill!

Anonymous said...

I was one of those unfortunate few that got a lousy dad. Oh well.

Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there.

yoo hoo said...

I was telling my sweet husband about a blog I read where the wife was indecisive about what to get her husband for Father's day, to which my sweet husband replied it's not about the stuff, I agreed. I then read aloud your blog to him regarding the teachings of your dad and that we both agree "that's what it's about". thanks for a lovely blog, I think we both responded emotionally to your story as we have both lost our dads and we learned alot from those men.

Mocha said...

Dude, who knew you were so sentimental? It ROCKS. You're so... well, so well rounded.

You know. Like a rock.

Happy Father's Day.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Thank you all for the nice comments regarding this post.

My dad taught me a lot of valuable lessons in life - and still does to this day.

Ironically though, one of my favorite sayings of his is, "Dumb kids, I teach them everything I know and they don't know nothing!"