I was recently asked if dad and I’s relationship had changed for the better since starting the build. It has. This is, perhaps, the best and most unexpected advantage so far. We didn’t have a bad relationship before but we weren’t as close as we could be. My brother was interested in the same things as my dad, so they helped each other out with their projects and had a lot to talk about. Mom is one of my best friends, so I never felt like I was missing out or lacking in that area.
On dad and I’s first trip to Home Depot, I remember being nervous thinking how awkward it was going to be sitting in a truck with him for 20 minutes with nothing to talk about (mom’s usually the one who keeps the conversation going). Turns out it wasn’t so awkward, as we had the house to talk about and, over the subsequent trips, we branched out into talking about everything under the sun.
It’s not always easy working together, as I am very stubborn and he is used to building a certain way, but we usually work things out. I usually see the logic in what he suggests, sometimes only after I’ve tried it my way and failed… To his credit, he has allowed me to introduce new ideas and we’ve learned together. He has also learned to relinquish control and let me do things on my own (not an easy thing for people in our family to do). This is usually due to time or physical limitations on his part but lately I think it’s because he’s beginning to trust my capabilities. To this, I throw back his well-worn phrase, “we’re not building a piano.”
I was surprised recently when someone asked what made me think I could build a house, like it was an unusual thing to attempt without any knowledge or skills. That got me thinking about other things I’ve done in my life and it made me realize I’ve always felt that I could do anything I set my mind to without fear of failure. I’m not saying I haven’t failed in life, I have many many times, but it doesn’t hold me back from trying something new. I attribute this to all the strong people in my family, dad being chief example. He has the mind of an engineer and has always figured out a way to make whatever he has needed. I believe that mindset shaped my brother’s and I’s lives the most.
In closing… Thank you, dad, for giving your time, which I know is priceless, and for being so patient. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you. Happy Birthday!