When something breaks at my house, everyone turns to look at me.
Not to accuse me of breaking it, although often enough … but in expectation that I’ll fix it. Computer to clothes dryer, apparently, I have the tools and skills.
Of course, I really don’t. What I have in the family is the most experience in diving in to difficult waters and finding my back out again. When I do this for the family, I wonder if I’m just enabling them to not learn that skill?
Of course, my wife turns a huge load of brush and straw in to a garden bed in an afternoon, when I’d barely scratch out a square foot of clear space. She turns daunting in to done while I’m still shading my eyes in fear. Between us, we’re a good fit for getting most things done, mostly well, most of the time.
Of course, the girls are just kids. At 12, I find Malakai to actually have a great attitude about diving in to things. I think this is one of those ages-and-stages things, they are no worse and maybe better than I was at that age. A few months ago, when Mal’s music player ran through the washing machine, she and I took it apart to dry. A couple of days later, she put the whole thing back together again when I was out. It worked, except the battery was dead. Clearly, the learning to swim in difficult waters is sinking in to her, too. Also, the joy of a job well done.
It’s just funny-but-not-ha-ha that I get the role that includes belly crawling under the house, sticking my hand in to my elbow to unclog things, and really just about anything that is gross. I’m also the carpenter, remolder/renovator, bicycle and car mechanic, and head chef/kitchen manager.
My friend Rahul once said to me long ago, “Why would you cook?” Where he lives, I reckon, food is easier and cheaper from a restaurant or a food stand. I know that I love the act of cooking, the transforming and delighted mouths, and I love even more when we grow something from scratch that feeds family and friends. At last weekend’s pie party, we served plum, apple, apricot, and rhubarb pies where the fruit all came from our garden. It was pretty amazing to realize how much of the ingredients were from our own hands, from the sun and soil in our garden.
In the end, I guess I choose to do-it-myself because there is a feeling that it is the right way to live. If I didn’t listen to these feelings and intuitions, I don’t know where I’d be now.