While I know I need to get it fixed, I will miss the chance to watch The Kid being a helper with my car. I showed her how to check the tire pressure and use the portable air compressor a few weeks ago. Today, she grabbed the gauge out of my hand and got right to work before I could unpack the compressor.
She relishes every opportunity she gets to help, the other night it was putting the clothes from the washer into the dryer. She enjoys making pizzas for the family and stirring pancake batter. She likes to help carry groceries in from the car. She's trying to learn how to walk our dog Barney. She really is my number one farm hand.
Watching her use the tire pressure gauge, I started reminiscing about my grandfather. He was always finding little things for me to help him with when I was a kid. I vividly remember testing the electric fence at the farm to make sure it was still working. On trips, even though he always knew exactly where he was going, he would assign me the title of navigator and hand me the map so I could tell him where we were going. I've known how to gas up any vehicle, from riding lawn mower to tractors to trucks, for as long as I can remember. Putting our golf clubs in the car and stacking firewood fall into that category too.
What I remember most about those little jobs is how I felt and what he communicated to me by letting me help. He told me through his actions that he trusted me, that he wanted to spend more time with me because he enjoyed my company. He showed me that my voice mattered. He was patient with me. I always knew, in no uncertain terms, that Gumpy loved me because he showed me through his actions.
As The Kid continues to grow, I find myself following my grandfather's example of how to be a parent. I have work to do, but I am forever grateful to have his example to follow. I guess it's time to find another small chore to teach The Kid.