I came home from work tonight expecting to get ambushed when I walked in the door. My wife and youngest son were off to his tennis lesson, so I figured at least one of the other two would want me to play a game with them or something.
I was partly right. I did get jumped the moment I walked in. Except it was, “Dad, will you teach us HTML?”
My kids listen to me, just not when I’m expecting them to. They’ve evidently overheard me telling my wife about how I’m getting so much mileage out of my HTML skills at work. And, more recently, my daughter realized that my home-made home-page that comes up on my browser was made using HTML. I basically created a page of my favorite links, and set it as my homepage. It’s nothing special, really, but she suddenly decided she wanted to make one for herself.
That alone should make feel good as father. From both her and my middle child I got, “Teach me how to do it, Dad,” rather than, “Dad, will you do it for me?”. My wife and I must be doing something right if they’re default mode is “I want to learn to do that myself.”
So tonight we had an impromptu lesson on HTML. I may have covered too much for one night, but that’s okay, I guess. Part of the idea was to show them what you can do with HTML. Not that I’m any expert on that. I just know the basics, and I look up the rest, or improvise.
It reminds me of someone I know, actually. My dad know a little about a lot of things. Using those basics he was able to improvise quite a lot. He could fix most things if given enough time. Somewhere along the lines he managed to pass a lot of that spirit, if not skill-set, along to me.
I read an article the other day that discussed a series of factors that would indicate whether you should buy a used home or build a new one. One factor was your handyman skills. If you’re not able to do basic maintenance tasks you’re better off buying a brand new home–and then moving again before things start to break. Us? We’ve never owned a house less than fifteen years old. It’s not that I enjoy fixing things–though sometimes I do–it’s just that I’ve never thought about doing things any other way. You don’t go out and buy something new unless you know for sure you can’t fix it. That’s just how my dad raised me.
So I’m glad to see that’s getting passed on to my kids. I like to think my dad would be pleased.