23 October, 2010
More than 15 years ago, when our children were small, we moved into the apartment we live in now. We moved from a small slanting-ceiling attic apartment into this spacious end of the 19th century stucco-ceiling palace-like apartment. This apartment is twice as big and the ceilings twice as tall as the old one. Literally.
For the first time in my life, I took some money from my savings and bought furniture and building supplies to “make” up our new home. I spent nearly two months installing lighting, bathroom features, assembling cupboards and various pieces of Ikea furniture, building bookshelves, curtain rods and coat racks. It was an amazing time.
My father taught me a lot about how to use tools and how to build, repair, and restore things. So this time of preparing for our move into the apartment was, in hindsight, almost an homage to all of his patient instruction and care.
What I didn’t realise until today while having a conversation with my son, is that there is a very large likelihood that I might never do something like that again. Secondly, even though my father taught me how to make things and use tools properly, I have not passed on these skills to either of my children. It makes me sad to think that something so valuable and costly learned would not be used again or be lost to others.
Even the idea that no one in my immediate family remembers how my father used to whistle under his breath while working, or how he was able to repair anything, and I mean Anything, either using a special brand of black electrical tape or cable binders, is a sad thought. Obviously, it is not possible to pass on all that you’ve learned in your life to your children, but perhaps we should not slip in our diligence.
Upon reflection, what would you like to pass on from either your mother or father to your children?