Being capable: The things I DO
November 27, 2012
We’ve had a really busy week around here. Shopping for Christmas, crafting, renovating the bathroom, working on some changes for Dayhome Registry (I’m pretty excited about them, and I think you will be too), sewing ripped clothes, making meals, dealing with illness. Yup, that’s enough. With all this going on, I’ve been thinking about all the “things” I do, and why I’m glad that I know how to do them.
I started thinking about this a while back while listening to the radio, and one of the hosts was talking about taking her kids mending to her mom’s house because she didn’t know how to sew. Then yesterday, while I was building a wall and having my kids help me, I got thinking about how important I feel it is to know how to do these things! Most of these things I have learned through trial and error, and at the elbow of my VERY capable mother. I hope to pass on these life skills to my kids as well.
Satisfaction: Firstly, and foremost, I get a great deal of satisfaction from having created something with my hands. As a teacher, you rarely get a completed anything – learning is always a work in progress. But with these skills, there is a finished product. I enjoy knowing that from a few pieces of fabric and some thread, I can make something to clothe myself or my kids. I look at the nighty I made my daughter with pride whenever I see her wear it, and she loves that I made it for her specifically. Accomplishment and pride in your work is an important thing to acknowledge. Too often we brush off credit for work we have done. When you have built it with your bare hands, no one else can take that credit.
Perseverance: This stuff isn’t easy, nor does it always work out well the first time. Sometimes you have to try again, accept that you might screw up, and be ok with that. My DS is a perfectionist, and can be really hard on himself when he doesn’t get it right the first time. I make a concerted effort to show him when I make mistakes and how I choose to deal positively with that. The wall we just built yesterday was attempt #2 – the first time it ended up being 2 inches too big (better too big than too little thankfully!).
Appreciation: Learning how to sew, build, cook, paint, etc. sure makes you appreciate the experts. In our society, we sometimes believe that people in manual labour jobs are there because they couldn’t cut it in the business world. HAH!! Never in my life have I appreciated the intelligence, problem solving, and artistry of manual labour than when I am trying to do one of these jobs. Mudding and taping drywall seams for example. I try my best, I follow all the instructions, I sand until my hair is grey and my lungs full of dust, but I can NEVER seem to get it smooth enough. Then you watch someone who really knows what they are doing – it truly is an art, and I so appreciate that art when it is applied in my home!
So what does this mean for you as a parent, or a dayhome owner? Enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done: kids out the door on time, or having the kids gobble down the dinner you made them. Remember to persevere through the tough days or moments. Appreciate those beautiful children and the amazing moments they provide you, as well as the other adults in their lives who help shape them. So now, I have to go persevere through repairing a ripped coat cuff, and remind my DD to appreciate her mother who fixed it; then I really will have satisfaction