I, like most men, as I get older find myself becoming more and more like my father. A couple weeks before my son headed back to college I gave him a few chores – the primary chore being the cleaning of the garage. This was a huge task, but one that he surprising completed in a timely and efficient manner. This is not to say that I do not trust my son to complete a task assigned by his parents……oh who am I trying to fool; I don’t trust him to complete the task. For as I am becoming more like my father; my son is almost identical to me at his age.
The garage was clean, swept and everything put away. Driving the car into the garage almost gave a peaceful and harmonious feeling. Even when we returned home from dropping my son off at college, I commented again to my wife how clean the garage was and what an incredible job he had done. I actually felt a certain level of guilt that I actually questioned my son’s sense of responsibility. But then, reality struck.
The following weekend I had a home project which required the use of many tools. I estimated that the project would take about 4 hours to complete. Unfortunately, the project took three times as long to complete and cost several hundred more dollars than anticipated. What was the reason for the inaccurate cost/time estimation? My son cleaned my garage.
The very first tool I needed wasn’t in its typical location. I gave it little thought thinking that my son may have mistakenly put it in the wrong place, but little did I know that day what lied ahead of me. After about 20 minutes of searching for the tool, I decided to give my son a call. He was quite helpful. He told me exactly where the tool should be. The only problem was that I knew where the tool should be. In fact, that was the exact location where the tool was prior to him cleaning the garage. What I didn’t know was where the tool actually was now.
After another 30 minutes of playing Sherlock Holmes trying to uncover the secret location of the missing tool, I decided to cut my losses and drive to Home Depot to purchase a replacement tool. This was the first of six visits to Home Depot that day. With each trip to Home Depot, the admiration of my eldest son, as well as the balance of my checking account, diminished. I had to purchase a replacement tool for virtually every critical tool needed for the project.
The next week, I decided to invest some time re-cleaning the garage (cabinet by cabinet). To my amazement, I located not only tools that I could not find for the prior week’s project but I discovered that I now have multiple duplications of many tools. This discovery resulted in conflicting emotions of frustration and gladness. Frustration for having purchased duplicates of so many tools. The pleasure that so many tools were found and that I would not have to buy additional replacements.
For my wife, the emotion was simply excitement. With the resources of so many tools, she apparently has identified many more projects for me. I think I will fly my son home this weekend and ask him to re-clean the garage………football season has just begun.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.