Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thanks, Dad!

That's my dad, almost 8 years ago, at my wedding.  It was like an episode of Dancing With the Stars, because he can dance and I...well...I tried to follow.  Mostly I didn't step on his toes, I don't think.  Or I did and he didn't mind.  Or at least he didn't wince.  But on that day, he modeled dancing to me, just like he's modeled a billion other things, and I did my best to follow.

So, you're wondering already, I can tell, "Why is she telling us about this?"  You know why?  Because I fixed the toilet today.  Yep.  I'm a plumber extraordinaire!  Or something like that.

"So again, why is she telling us about this?"

Because when my dad heard that I needed a little emergency plumbing work done today, knowing that my husband is at work, he sent me a text and asked if I needed him to come help.  So the first thing you learn about my dad is that he is willing to drop everything, even at 8 in the morning, and come to the aid of his kids!  Pretty awesome, right?  (Okay, the first thing you learned about him was that he can dance, but that's neither here nor there.)

"So why is she telling us about this?"

Because my dad, even when he could have, rarely "hired" a job done.  Nope.  He did the work himself.  He was a handy man.  He was a carpenter by trade, but he was a plumber, an electrician, a landscaper...he saw a job that needed to be done and he did it.  If he didn't have the tools, he borrowed or bought them.  He did the work himself, with his hands.  And he let us watch.  Or help!  Even though we were girls.

So when my dad asked today if I needed help, I was confident.  I had looked at the toilet.  I'd removed the lid, done some trial flushes, followed the problem to its source, and knew what needed to be done.  I had a plan.  (And as a back-up, I figured I could call dad if it didn't work out the way I'd hoped!)  Had I ever watched dad replace a toilet handle?  (Yes, it was THAT minor of an issue.)  Not to my knowledge.  But I've seen him re-tile a kitchen, install a water heater, build a wheelchair ramp...I've seen and used the tools I needed.  I've never been encouraged to "let the men" do those jobs.

The parts?  Less than $5.

The time it took?  Less than 5 minutes.

But check this out.  Bugsy got to help.  Not just watch.  (I think he knew I'd let him help.  When he followed me into the bathroom, he didn't say, "Hey, mommy, I'm going to watch while you fix the toilet."  He said, "Alright, mommy, let's fix this toilet.")

"So why is she telling us about this?"

Because I want to say thanks.  Thanks, dad, for being an example to us.  Thanks for teaching us and leading us.  Thanks for showing us (by example!) that we can do things for ourselves.  Thanks for offering your help!  Thanks for showing us how to love our families.  Thanks for teaching Bugs to fix toilets!  (I know, I know, you weren't even here...but I was thinking about you!)

And thanks for the dance.


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