Sunday, October 6, 2013

Building Memories

I am a very do-it-myself kind of girl.
I grew up with a dad that could literally fix anything.  Seriously. The first car I ever owned, an old Ford Escort, was totaled when a driver ran a red light and crashed into my passanger side door as I was making a left turn. My dad found another Escort, one with a great body but no engine (which was two years newer and cherry red), and proceeded to spend a weekend removing everything under the totaled vehicle's hood and putting in into the newer vehicle. I drove that "new" car for three more years and it drove like a dream.
As a parent, I want to cry just typing that memory. I understood the impact of his actions, but now as an adult with my own kids, it's even more profound. The things we do for our children. 

You could go so far as to say that I measure love with projects such as my dad's, which is why I'm very hands on with my kids. This will be the first Halloween that they don't want me to make them a costume and it's killing me. We ordered Em's from the Disney store and bought Narls' from Meijer and they are literally coming apart at the seams with happiness over their mass produced same-as-every-other Princess Sofia and Patriotic Ironman out there. Sigh. Oh well. I know they loved their homemade costumes too, and much like me with my dad, they'll appreciate my actions even more when they grow up and have their own babies. 

And I realize I'm being a bit overdramatic. I know that the full extent of one's love cannot be measured by projects alone. I married a very non-diy guy, but our children and I know he loves us more than can ever be shown by fixing a broken dishwasher. Which is a true story, our dishwasher broke, and Clay had a new one ready to buy.  I looked up the symptom's online and fixed ours it in a couple hours. Runs good as new, didn't cost us a penny, and I didn't even chip my nail polish.  He's getting better though.  He recently changed all four of my SUV's brakes himself, and you guys, talk about a turn on...  

But back to doing and building.  The Home Depot runs a kids' workshop on the first Saturday of every month and it's a perfectly executed event.  It's something I know my dad would love to take his grandkids to if he could. It makes me feel close to him despite the thousands of miles between us.  So Clay and I take them. And it's fun. We build something together. We've been doing it for over a year and no kidding, my kids are good with a hammer.  Even Clay has gotten better with a hammer ;)

Narls and Em leave with a project they built, that they're proud of. 
And I leave knowing I just helped instill in my kids that there isn't anything they can't fix or make, just like their grandpa instilled in me.


  1. This post was super inspiring- I had no idea Home Depot offers events like that :) My dad is the same way- if he can, he always likes to fix things himself (mostly to save money though, haha). I remember my dad going out of his way to make me happy (in everything) and once he spent hours making me a little wagon out of wood for my barbies and another time he made a wardrobe closet (I even bought little plastic hangers) for my Barbies- best thing ever. I still have them and will never part with them. He also helped me build my California mission in the 4th grade (which is a huge project in schools over here). Now they actually sell already made California msisions at craft stores and you just add glue, which is no fun! My dad and I literally made mine from bits and pieces around the house- I'm so glad I have those memories and will continue to make memories like that with my mom and dad even now as an adult. :)

  2. I think this is so neat. My grandfather was like this, and so were some other grandfatherly figures in my life. My dad, not so much. My mom even is a do it yourselfer. That woman had her own drill and tool box before pinterest made DIY cool. I try and be like her sometimes, but I'm not quite there yet. I need a class like this for grown ups!