Saturday, November 17, 2012

"It Can't Be Done"


Several weels ago, my computer crashed.  We ordered a new hard drive, and when that didn't arrive a week after it was promised, we had to reorder the same part. Within a couple of days, we possessed not one hard drive but two.  As no installation instructions were included, I called the website help line.  The technician who answered kept me on the phone for more than an hour, telling me emphatically that it was impossible for my husband to install it by himself.

I told Bill about my lengthy conversation when he arrived home.  He ate supper, went down to the basement, and in less time than my frustrating phone call, victory -- Bill had installed the new hard drive and reinstalled the software.  Nightly Tea is back in business.

The phrase "it can't be done" is not a discouraging word to Bill, but a challenge.  Impossible?  Think again.  I am grateful to my husband for his amazing work in bringing the computer back to life.  I also have my father-in-law to thank.

Thank you, Howard, for giving your little boy problems to solve, glitches to fix, opportunities to change the oil and fix the brakes, let him play around with gadgets to figure them out -- and to gain confidence one small victory at a time.  I know that most of the time, there was no option whether or not to call a repairman, either you all fixed it or it wouldn't be fixed.  And so, you kept the same avocado green fridge operating for almost 40 years, cars running past their prime, and every appliance rebuilt.

When I asked Bill how he did it, he casually replied, "I was just not afraid to try."  His father had granted him that gift:  embrace a challenge, fix a problem, THINK about every possible solution.  And while that meant a lot of trials and errors, it also meant a lot of A-HA moments when creative solutions rose to the surface of his thoughts.  Bill said that he didn't think his father intentionally attempted to teach him and his brothers these skills, but that it was simply an expectation.

So, parents, let your children play, let them make messes -- and mistakes, throw away the instructions  and let them think and dream and figure it out on their own... and not be afraid to try.

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