In the last day of our first weekend at home with no plans in month or so there was a lot accomplished. Between more family games, a trip to Menards, and watching the Packers kick some butt it was nice to get back to a normal (though increasingly abnormal) weekend. Amongst all of that it would have been pretty tough to try to decide on what to write about today had it not been for a comment made by each of the boys today at different times without hearing what the other said.
I had a lot of fun making a puzzle box for my mom to put her Christmas present in. It was the type of project that I really enjoy, something new, very different, mechanical, an idea that required thought and improvising, and something that could be done in a weekend. With the recency of that in my head I bought a book on how to make puzzle boxes using my bandsaw. When were in Belize about a year ago we picked up a couple of small boxes that are similar to what I wanted to attempt to make so I picked up the materials I needed (and a new saw blade, was recently reminded of how important that is!) and started to go to town.
The very first step was getting the saw blade on and getting everything tuned on my bandsaw. I’d never done that before and the book walked through what seemed to be a very simple process. Sadly for this guy, it was a pain in the butt and I’m still working on it. For whatever reason the saw blade kept slowly twisting in an arc to the left as I attempted to saw my 4×4 pine. I tried just about everything and just couldn’t get it to work and got pretty frustrated.
Gavin was downstairs with me while I was working on this and was both watching me and walking very fast on the treadmill. At one point I informed him that I was going to try one more thing before I quit. “But you can’t quit Dad, we’re not quitters, you’ll figure it out” was his immediate reply. I explained to him that I wasn’t actually “quitting,” I was taking a breather and walking away from it for a little while. As I explained to him that sometimes it’s best to walk away from something when you’re frustrated and then go back to it later I couldn’t help but smile. Gavin had been listening all of those times I’ve told him to never quit just because something got tough.
As I was tucking Dominic into bed a few hours later I saw his puzzle box on his table. Picking it up I was sliding it apart when I explained to Dominic that this was what I was trying to make today. “Don’t worry Dad, you’ll figure it out.” It was a statement of fact, and there wasn’t a bit of doubt to his comment. Again I just smiled, Dominic was listening all of those times that I told him that he could figure anything out, sometimes it just took a little work.
As I walked back up the stairs that’s when it hit me that I heard both of those things from them at different times that echoed two of my core values, grit and having a growth mindset. I believe that anything is possible if you have the passion and stick to it-ness and are open to learning (& failing) along the way. Over the years the boys have been picking that up from Becky and I, and I am thankful that they occasionally listen!