Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Passing it on

There are certain things that we learn from our mothers and fathers.  Useful skills that we learn from our mothers and our grandmothers like cooking, maybe sewing (no, I don't sew very well) and other domestic stuff that I really don't excel at, truth be known.

Oh sure, I'm a good cook when I want to be and I think that one of the best things that I learned from my mother in that regard, is how to cut up a whole chicken for frying.  The actual frying of the chicken I learned by watching mom and both of my grandmothers over the years.

When I was a little girl, I was an only child on both sides of my family for the first 7 1/2 years of my life.  My parents of course had hoped that I was a boy, but were just as happy with the girl that they received instead. 

Dad, being the man's man that he was, decided that while I may be a girl, he was going to pass down a lot of 'manly' skills to me so that I wouldn't have to always be dependent on some man to do things for me.

What I learned from Dad were things like, making minor repairs around the house, making some major and all minor repairs on a car.  I can do my own brakes, change my own oil, tune up my car, replace a fuel pump (provided i don't have to drop the gas tank to do so), oil pump, water pump, alternator have even replaced an intake manifold and carborator......   the list goes on.  Of course, my other half, Kx handles all the automotive stuff for me, but should something happen and he can no longer do it, I can certainly manage a lot of things and know enough not to get screwed by the local mechanic should I have to pay for a repair on my car.

Dad taught me how to fish.  I learned at a very early age how to bait my own hook and how to cast into the water and reel a fish in.  I learned how to clean fish, though Hubby taught me how to filet them (admittedly, that's still a job that hubby does, though I can if I have to ;)).

Dad of course taught me how to shoot.  He taught me all about gun safety, how to take aim and shoot and then of course how to break down my rifle and clean it up.

These skills, I am determined to pass down to my grandkids as most of them have been passed down to my kids already, and where I have lacked, Kx has picked up the slack.

I think though that while all of these things are great tools and skills to have for basic survival the one thing that I learned from not just my father but from my mother, my grandparents and my aunts and uncles.....   how to love.

On Sunday, sitting with Scooter, teaching her to shoot and seeing the bright smile on her little face, the smile that Kx couldn't capture without finding himself on the bad end of the boomstick, was the highlight of my weekend.  To know that I am passing down something useful and tangible to her is the greatest feeling imaginable and the greatest form of love.

There is a lesson that I have learned over the years that has really recently come to light.  Kind of an epiphany if you will.  That lesson is that love comes to us in many different forms.  Whether it's something that we find that we love to do, places we love to go, or people that we love.

Never ever pass up the chance for love of any kind.  It's truly the greatest gift on earth and when nurtured properly, regardless of what kind of love it is, it's really a beautiful thing.

Always find the joy in your life, recognise it for what it is and do everything that you can to make it happen.  Life is too short to waste.

1 comment:

  1. Having no children of our own, God exercised His sense of humor five years ago and blessed/cursed my wife and I with a sixteen-year-old that went from goddaughter status to us being legal guardians to today's status of "daughter."

    I place very little importance or relevance on biology as it relates to parenting, and place for more importance on love and commitment.

    To that end B is our daughter--or, more correctly, MY daughter since my wife and everyone we know sees how the young lady became a "daddy's girl" early on and to this day, has the ability to light my face up with an ear-to-ear grin just by calling or stopping by to see me.

    There were some tough times, made even tougher since we had no formal experience; no OJT (On the Job Training) and lots of mistakes with B were made. Compounding that was the fact that she was a teenager with typical teen attitude and behavior issues.

    Topping it all off is that she grew up with no dad, or even a positive male role model. None. Zippo. Nada.

    Belle, I tried to teach her what she'd need to know--cars, finance, making and sticking to a budget, sex and boys and what to beware of, and more.

    Then there were the fun things like what she needed to know about the airplane and how to program in the radio frequencies and GPS identifiers, how to get us back on the ground in one piece if I suddenly fall asleep. How to launch and recover the boat, what to do and not to do with the big "not to EVER do" is let booze on the boat. We have two strict rules on our boat: 1. No booze, and 2. Unless you can swim better than this ex-AAU/UIL competitive swimmer, you don't leave the boat to swim/float without a PFD on and secure.

    She has taken to both rules with no fuss, no argument, and enforces them to the T.

    I also taught her how to shoot. Safety came first and early on, I was gratified that she ALWAYS remembered the previous lessons--never forgot.

    She has one heckuva good boyfriend right now and in just two weeks, turns 21. She has become quite the young woman and grown up and matured.

    I love her so much and am so proud of her I could burst.

    It's all we can do--pass along our knowledge and abilities to the next generations. I don't know if I'll ever be a grandfather, but if it's in the cards, then hopefully I can start passing stuff on before they turn sixteen.

    Your dad sounds like a great man.



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