It was before I got my Gameboy, so that would’ve made me 7 or 8 years old.
Dad got us swinging a hammer and turning a wrench at a pretty young age. He nailed a board to our deck that my brothers and I got to practice our sawing and hammering skills on. Sawing off a small chunk of the board and driving in, what now looks like hundreds of nails. That board is still there.
I don’t remember ever not being interested in activities that involved tools. Whenever my Dad and my Uncle were doing repairs to the house, the business, the cars or whatever else, I always got a chance to see what they were working on and sometimes pass the wrenches and turn some screwdrivers.
I even got to watch and assist my Dad extensively repair a lawnmower he purchased at a yard sale. I remember being super excited that I was able to be there and watch and help out however I could.
Some time later while exploring the sheds in our back yard, I came across another yard sale special lawnmower and out of nowhere get the bright idea that I could fix this one, just like I helped my Dad before. I don’t actually know what’s wrong with it, but I assume it needs to be taken apart. So I drug it out of the shed, got the tool boxes with all my dads tools out and got to work.
Taking things apart is so much fun, especially when you haven’t done it before.
Just about the time I had that mower stripped down in to all of its little pieces, my Dad walks up and sees me sitting on the ground with all of the inner-workings of the lawnmower and just about every tool he owns strewn about. Some on the ground, some on a tarp, some on the grass. I’m covered in oil and grease and grass clippings, innocently looking up and as proud as ever.
“Why did you take the lawnmower apart? he says.
This is the moment I knew that I had done something I wasn’t supposed to. I’m pretty sure he asked about the location of all his tools, genuinely concerned with their condition. Looking back on this event as an adult, I can only surmise that my Dad was upset because his tools were everywhere, not because I took apart the lawnmower. He might have even been amazed at what I did at the time. I dunno.
Kids will do stuff because they’re curious, and excited, and to prove they can do things too.
So why did I take the lawnmower apart? Was it because I thought I could fix it like I saw my Dad fix the other one? I think I took it apart because I was curious and because it was fun.
That was the year I got a mechano set for Christmas.
What were you curious about when you were a kid? Did you have any fun disassembling any appliances like I did? Are you still a curious person?
Have a great day!