that’s what dad’s are faux

Name something that you have never done, have never thought about doing, and could care less if you ever wind up doing it before you die…

For my son it was painting.

paint 3I must preface this article by saying that there isn’t anything in, or around a house that I can’t build, fix, or enhance from a do-it-yourself, home improvement perspective. I can change out plumbing fixtures, work on electrical fittings, hang drywall, set tile, hang an entry door, install a garage door opener, set up an irrigation system, install roofing, build furniture, and, oh yeah, paint.

 I would go as far as to say that I am such a good painter, that you may even consider it a “super power”. I work a cutting brush like Dare Devil works his walking stick; I roll better than The Caped Crusader in his Bat-Mobile Whip; and when the mood hits me, I can faux paint in almost any technique known to both human man or altered beast. I have ragged on, ragged off, stripped, sponged, stamped, and Venetian plastered just to name a few. I move fast and I work clean. If I were this super hero, you would probably call me “The Amazazaing Painter Man”, “The Super Spreader”, or maybe just “Michaelangelo Got Nothing on Me Stud”. I would fly around town in a paint pelted smock and ward off  the “White Wall Gang” with the fury of my mighty Corona brushes. All the while having my nemesis (The Evil Dr. Odorless Mineral Spirits) continually attempt to ruin my plans for a world that complements itself like a properly selected accent wall…

Now… Back on earth…

paint 1I have a new theory with my 13 year old son. I have figured out that if he is going to learn how to find his own superpower, he is going to have to learn how to do some of these home improvements. So I ask make him help me with all major projects that do not include the possibility of being electrocuted, loosing a limb, or falling from a height that requires a parachute. Right now, however, he is simply a sidekick. You might call him, “Get the Wet-Vac Boy”, “Grab the Flat Head Screw Driver Kid”, or “The Amazing Fix the Drop Cloth Dude”. But every so often, when  The Amazing Super Painter’s back is killing him, Drop Cloth Boy springs into action.

So my son started to roll paint on this wall…

I gave him some basic instructions and left the rest to common sense. I mean, heck, who can’t figure out how to smear paint? Who doesn’t understand gravity and the way that paint falls off a roller and onto the only place that the drop cloth isn’t? Who doesn’t know not to step on the upside-down paint lid?

I won’t say it to protect the innocent, but I’ll give you a hint. (he lives in one of my bedrooms)

Then it hit me. He was doing the best that he could with what he knew, while taking into consideration the consequences that he was limited to. He just tried the best he could at something that seemed like he could figure out without asking too many questions. His intentions were great…but his performance started out a bit rocky. I could have been disappointed because he was obviously not equipped with my same super human painting ability; but I thought that was a bit unfair.

paintg 4So we took a quick break and we went over some fundamentals.

…Hold the roller like this… Know what you are painting over top of… Be aware of where you are walking… This is how much paint to put on the roller… This is the pattern on the wall you follow… Paint up and down… This is where you put the roller when your tired… Blend… Take your time… Have fun…I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!

Then I let him have at it.

I must say that I was very impressed with him and the result. He did a great job and was able to finish the rest of the project with much less complaining. There was even a slight hint of enjoyment in my child’s eye as he confidently attacked the remaining walls and triumphantly completed the project with me.

I was proud of him. I was proud of me too.

You see, that is the epitome of what being a father is. You have this person that you are responsible for preparing for what life will throw his/her way. Are you going to simply hope that they get it right? Are you going to just sit there and watch them fail? Are you going to take the easy way out and let them do it the wrong way; or worse, do it for them.

You may not have all the answers as a Dad, but you do have exactly what your kids need; direction and encouragement. Let them know that you are “in it together” and that whatever happens, you will be proud of them for trying. Tell them that they don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes because, together, you can handle whatever gets in your way. Some of my most enlightening times as a father are when I see my son struggle with something that I think that I am good at. I grow more in those moments than in the ones where I simply sit back and boast “that’s my boy”.

So I have some questions for you…

What do you look like when you imagine your son/daughter “stepping in paint”? Are you mad at them? Are you disappointed with them? Do you think less of their abilities? Do you give up?

paint 2or…

When they do “step in it”, do you see this as a warning sign that you might be slacking off in your Dad duties by assuming too much and teaching too little?

Well…

Don’t just sit there! You have a wall to paint with your child and they are probably going to make a big mess, initially…

…if your lucky.

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6 Responses to that’s what dad’s are faux

  1. Jamie says:

    Bro,

    Not bad considering the only paint brush (er spray can, marker) you picked up at that age was to tag someone’s wall. My have we changed!! Good job.

  2. Mike Ash says:

    Good stuff bro! I’ll need to keep this in mind.

  3. jazmine9 says:

    I laughed as I read this as I could be your partner in crime. I, too, love to paint and feel it is a gift, or just plain anal-retentiveness! Especially when I see others in my family try to duplicate my efforts. (Not so pretty!) I admire your willingness to teach this skill to your children, not only as a life skill, but also as and investment in quality time spent with someone who you want to instill learning, perserverance and love. It is all too easy to “give someone a brush” with the expectation of producing a masterpiece without giving the first lesson in “what is paint?” Armed with a little knowledge, the right tools and some energy, a person is often capable of far more than we realize.
    And “Well done!” to you, for having the patience to teach someone not only the how, but also how to with enjoyment! I know it will pay off in the future, especially if you move and need to repaint your house!! LOL!

  4. Mike Ash says:

    it has begun…I’m padding the numbers…

  5. Pingback: The Gentlemen’s Club » Teeny Manolo

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