The first time we tried to teach Sam to run the circular saw, I showed him how to keep the guide level, plumb, and square; how to use the guide marks along the cut line; how to hold your tongue just out of the corner of your mouth in order to look supercool, smooth, and tough all the while. At which point, Sam said, “Why is all that electrical tape on the cord of the saw?”
I said, “Well, bud, Pappap sometimes gets ahead of him self and ends up sawing the cords off his tools.” Luckily, as we all know, Pappap is an electrician.
Sam said, “Oh.” So Pappap showed him how to use the speed square and a tape measure, how to check a two-by for warp and such, how to set the depth of the blade, how to stand with one’s hand on one’s chin just such that one looks contemplative even if on the inside one is thinking, now just where in the hell did I put my but one can’t remember the name of that thing one’s thinking about. And Sam said, “Why are there all those marks in the saw horse?”
Pappap said, “Well, bud, sometimes your old man is so focused on the cut that he doesn’t think about what’s on the other side of it.”
Sam stood there for a while, testing the weight of the saw in his hand, and set is smoothly on the work bench. He said, “Uhm, maybe I’ll just wait a while and teach myself how to run the circular saw.”
. . .
So anyway, it’s apparently “son appreciation week” or something like that. I know, I’d never heard of it either. Still, I suppose I support it – somebody oughtta appreciate the little rascals. By little, of course, I mean Zac is 6’5.” Sam, on the other hand, is only one inch taller than I.
Here’s to you, boys, I say. You sure are something. Daring. Kind. Vicious. Get your asses to work, I said. So they did. While I sat in my plush folding chair drinking rum and whatever, they did this:
Okay, boys, I appreciate it, but can you at least be a little tough about it?
Once upon a time, this was a weightbearing wall. I said, “Boys, put two headers in thar.” They said, “How?” I said, “Figure it out.” So they did. And I appreciate that. The day before that I had them build this arch:
I said, "How do you boys feel about it?" Zac said, "Great." Sam felt and looked ambiguous. The guy in the middle just sort of shows up sometimes and eats my barbecue potato chips.
And I appreciate that also. Today, I’m going to appreciate the hell out of the closet they’re going to build. Tomorrow: plumbing, I really appreciate that. Way to go boys.