Projecting habits


Once my old man found me mocking up a shaky tree fort, took initiative, and eventually constructed something sturdy as a pole barn -I bought his house; my kids climb on the thing to this day. Another time “we” built a model rocket. In candy apple red. With a glassy clear coat. I spent most of that project setting off Lady Fingers with the 9v launch controller. All the igniters were cashed come launch day.

My dusty attic is stacked with memories like these. At one time I swore an oath I’d let my kids do stuff themselves. Today is Project Fair day at the primary school. I repent.

Granted, I mostly functioned something like one of those robotic arms in automobile assembly plants, or wherever. He’d pick out the perfect piece of wood scrap and point. I’d butter it with wood glue while he held it, then he’d press it into place.

I had to cut something here and there, of course. Safety first. The mandate was as little parental participation as possible. Believe me when I say I was squirming with input at some points.

Maybe I did too much, I don’t know, but I can tell you where I learned to apply a small amount glue with a thin strip of basswood: stabilizer fins. I fancy that trick will float to the front of his memory one day while he’s commandeering his own kid’s project.


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