Monday, May 20, 2013

F I X E R: Connecting Generations

TIP ON CONNECTING THE GENERATIONS

My youngest son, Elias, tells people sometimes that his dad is a FIXER. He has learned at 6 years old, that things break and fall apart. His bicycle, his scooter and the minivan we carry him to school in, all break at times. In turn, he has learned not to whine or cry, but to ask Dad to fix-it. He delights in knowing that I can fix it and uses me as his default at this point. A reality that I find both wonderful and troubling at times.

I mean, do I really want to fix that old busted toy that keeps getting left in the driveway? Not really!  But, the little dude just knows that Dad can fix it, so I have a reputation to protect. 

Recently he watched big brother and Dad fix the ductwork to the dryer. We got into the attic, on the roof, and in the laundry room, it was pretty involved. He was very impressed that we got onto the roof and just assumed we knew what we were doing. In the garage I am putting a playhouse together, using tools and wood. He sees that as fixing. Over the weekend we planted flowers, mowed, killed weeds and cleaned our deck, he sees all that "working with your hands" as fixing, so he asked questions and sometimes helps out. 

This week my father, Billy Sr., is coming into town to celebrate the high school graduation of my oldest daughter. Elias doesn't really know him, so last night I spent time connecting the dots. Connecting the generations can sometimes be difficult when time, space and culture separate families. So, I talked to him about the things my father taught me to do when I was young. Eli remembers learning to ride a bike and watching me fish or work on the car. So, I used those things to connect the generations. 

I told Eli that Pekaw was my Dad, and that he was the one who taught me to be a FIXER. Now I had his attention. He asked 20 questions and found a place in his mind, a box, to put my Dad in. He values the FIXER skills, so he seemed impressed by the teaching my Dad must have done to help me learn how to be such a good FIXER. Now, I hope my dad can live up to his expectations, I'm gonna ask him to help me fix several things while he is in town and........
......Eli will be watching. 

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