“You did it yourself?” My youngest asked me. She was downright shocked or confounded.
“Yeah, I did it myself,” I answered with expression to make a point. She’s not a teenager anymore, but I still try to find a teachable moment when the occasion arises… which is less and less these days.
I try to encourage her to take care of her things. I’m pretty sure she considers it more of me riding her, but that’s how it works from the perspective of a parent and child.
She’s busy. She had 18 credit hours at college last semester and she did remarkably well. Proof that she’s not like her dad in some ways…
The truth is the world has changed and her and her sisters can’t begin to see this life and relate to the extinct world that their parents’ generation grew up in. In fairness, I grasp that this life is busier and faster for them than it was for us.
All the technology that was supposed to make life better and save us time has done the exact opposite. Our kids as well as us are caught up in a breakneck pace of life. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon… at least on it’s own.
Busy people rely on the expertise of those that specialize in their respective fields. Our oldest is an NP that was doing twelve hour shifts for awhile and her husband runs his own business. On top of that they have two little boys that the Tasmanian devil couldn’t keep up with. They were having prepared meals delivered to their house.
There seems to be a nail place on every corner in our part of the world. And I mean the type of nail on the end of a finger, not the ones you buy in a hardware store. And they’re all full… at least that’s what I hear tell. I’m still too old fashioned or blue collar to partake in any of that sort of Tom Foolery…
A couple of times in the last twenty years I decided that it was a waste of money to pay to get my yard taken care of. I went out and bought all the tools to take care of the yard and lawn my darn self. The last time I skinned the grass and planted my own winter grass I spent more on seed than it would have cost me to have the landscaper take care of it. I gave the lawnmower away the next week.
When I get my truck washed I use the time to either work or write. I, like the rest of this society, have learned to multitask like a machine. Before it became a science and an addiction they called it “killing two birds with one stone.”
My youngest’s Jeep is black so it’s not very forgiving when it comes to showing that it’s dirty and in need of a bath. It’s her first car that she got when she was in high school and she loves it… She just doesn’t love to wash it.
When she was over a couple weekends ago for Sunday dinner we all pitched in and washed her Jeep. It wasn’t her idea… I tried to teach her the art of washing a car. Like I learned from back in the day when “The Car Wash” was one of those open stalls you pulled into and fed the machine quarters. They’re about as plentiful these days as full service gas stations.
After we finished drying her Jeep off I showed her the picture of my ’73 Vette… in the exact same place in the driveway as her Jeep was sitting. I had just washed it by hand a couple of weeks prior. She could see the evidence of a still wet driveway in the picture.
My daughter’s brow creased in question when she asked me, “You did it yourself?”
“Yeah, I did it myself,” I answered like a typical dad.
“How come?” She was still confused by her old school dad.
I didn’t hesitate, “Pride of ownership.” I paused then asked, “It’s nice to have your Jeep clean, isn’t it?”
This time she didn’t hesitate, “Yeah, I’m glad we did it,” she studied her shiny black Jeep, “It looks so good,” she beamed.
That part of her that finds gratification in the work of her hands she got from her dad. She learned a lesson. And I was reminded that I need to remember the lessons that I’ve already learned.