Back when the temperature was above freezing and we weren’t buried under a foot of snow, MysteryMan had a bunch of friends over to Memorial for a bonfire. When I copped to building those handy picnic table benches the guys were sitting on, one of them said to me, “I love a girl who knows how to read a tape. Where’d you learn to do all this?”
And in my head I’m all, Dude…tape measures have numbers on them. What is this? Rocket science?
But what came out of my mouth was, “I mean, where did you learn how to use a drill?”
And he blinked at me eleven times like that was a stupid question. Except hey, no answer. Because one day you just pick up a drill and use it. And then you you realize that what used to take 7 minutes of hand-turning a screw driver just took you 3 seconds and now you have plenty of time to go paint your toenails. And next thing you know you’re framing in a new bathroom.
Is being able to read a tape, or use a drill, or build a picnic table, or build a donkey barn in four days really that awesome? A lot of men (and women for that matter) do this stuff all of the time. I didn’t create this website to hear everyone tell me “You’re AWESOME!” Though I admit, sometimes it is a nice contrast to the other phrase I hear all the time. “You’re CRAZY!”
Boys aren’t born knowing how to use tools, build birdhouses, or climb trees any better than girls are. I suspect it is more rare for boys to ever think that they couldn’t put in a fence, or tear down a wall, or change the oil in their car, because they grew up with a dad, or an uncle, or a guy on TV doing those things.
Neither my father or mother were really “Let’s jump in and get our hands dirty” kind of role models when I was growing up. But you know who was?
Both of my tough-as-nails, get-it-done, beautiful, talented grandmothers.
Not that I don’t have a plethora of things to thank my parents for. (Financial responsibility and business sense? Thanks Dad. College degrees? Thanks mom.)
But this thing I do? The jumping in with both feet, nothing is going to stop me attitude? I have to believe some of that comes from the fact that these awesome women were showing me how to lay a brick edge around a vegetable garden when I was three, instead of telling me to go play with my dolls.
As much as they deny responsibility for some of my better personality traits, is it really hard to believe that little girl in that picture was doing this until midnight tonight?
Anything I am capable of that is out of the ordinary came from people in my life, like my grandmothers, who taught me to believe that if I really put my mind to something, I could not fail.
It’s not awesome that I do it, it’s awesome that I am surrounded by women who believe in me.
(Some of the men still haven’t jumped on that train yet, but I love you guys anyway.)
To my grandmothers: I love you. Thank you for all the gifts you’ve given me – especially the intangible ones. And boy am I hoping I’m half as gorgeous as both of you when I have a crazy, house-building, dangerously-close-to-thirty granddaughter.
To everyone who is taking on the impossible: I don’t know what kind of big, crazy, everyone-is-telling-you-you-can’t-do-it things you have going on in your lives, but let me tell you something I learned from some very smart women… Yes, you can.
So tell me, what kinds of things are you undertaking that sometimes make you think you’re crazy, and what inspires you to believe you can get them done?