Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Helping Daddy

Little boys love to fix things. Anything. They love to know how something works and why it works that way. They want to figure out how to make it bigger, stronger or better. This is not my forte. My husband and I were talking about it the other morning and I told him I thought our oldest was bored with or had mastered most of the everyday household tasks. "He wants to learn man stuff," I told my husband. "Do you see how he lights up every time you pick up a screw driver?" One of the kids started crying so we left the conversation dangling in the air, waiting for the next moment of quiet so that it could be finished.

It was Sunday and I had band practice before church. My husband packed the kids in the car to go to Home Depot before church - Our toilet was running endlessly and needed to be fixed. (I still marvel at the ease in which he takes three children all over town. I avoid it at all costs.) He brought them to church then we all came home for lunch and naps. My husband took the opportunity to fix the toilet while they rested.

"Oh! You fixed the toilet!" I said. "You'll have to tell Luke how you did it. He wanted to know how you were going to fix it." I saw my husbands face fall a bit. 
"I didn't know he wanted to do it with me...I mean, I knew he wanted to understand how but..."
He trailed off, still thinking it through.
"No big deal, love. Just tell him how you did it. That's enough."

But it wasn't enough for him. While I happily sewed a skirt that I hope I will actually wear (unlike my other attempts at sewing clothing but that's a whole other blog) he unfixed the toilet. I walked into our bathroom and heard the toilet running. "The toilet isn't fixed, babe. It's still running!" I told him, thinking his handyman skills weren't quite up to par for this task (sorry babe). But he had other plans.

"Oh! Well then I'd better get Luke to help me fix it. C'mon bud. Can you give me a hand?"
"Sure, Daddy!" my oldest said as he jumped off the couch and straightened his shoulders. 
"I can help too, Daddy!" my three year old said as he chased after them.
My daughter, not to be forgotten, jerked herself out of my arms and ran into the bathroom. All three kids hovered around their daddy in the tiny water closet as he patiently explained how it worked and how to fix it. It was the sweetest thing I've seen in a long time.

We are always given opportunities to teach our children. My husband did not have to unfix that toilet. He did not even have to mention it to the kids. But he chose to take this opportunity to help his kids feel like their help was valued and needed. It was such an incredible gift.

How could you employ your children's "help" today? What are they trying to learn about being an adult that you could show them?

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