Harrison was at pre-school earlier this week, when his teacher commented about the beat-up old toy wheelbarrow whose front wheel had fallen off.
“My Dad can fix it”, he said. “My Dad can fix anything”.
I’m a hopeless handyman. The first guinnea pig cage I ever build ended up as a pile of wood and wire. So did the second one. The only time in my life I ever gave my car a grease and oil change was when my 18 year-old step son helped me. (He did all of the work, and I watched on and gave encouraging words when I thought it was appropriate.)
This little challenge from Harrison was quite a big one for me, but inside I was overjoyed the confidence that my 5 year old son had placed in me.
So I agreed, and did what I could to fix up the wheelbarrow. I gave it a fresh coat of paint, some new washers, some oil, and had a great time while Harrison watched on.
“That looks awesome, Dad!”
Wow – what a vote of confidence! What a privilage to be a father, and for a few precious, short years to be a little boy’s hero. All it took was a couple of hours on my Saturday morning, and a few dollars, but the memory for me will last a lifetime.
Soon he will think that he knows better than me, and I’ll just be an “oldie”. But for now, I can do awesome things with wheelbarrows, I get to be a hero for a day, and Harrison will tell all his friends that his Dad fixed the wheelbarrow up.
(Lilly checks herself out in the mirror. Taken with my mobile phone).
Of all the strange things that happen in the universe, there’s one that is stranger than anything else.
On our small planet alone live more than 6 billion people. Another 6 billion people have already lived and died here. Yet of all those people that live, or have lived and died, one of them thinks that they are “me”.
Billions of people experience the world, but by some wierd contortion of cosmic reaility I get to “be” one of those people. I get to see things through “my” eyes; hear things through “my” ears; touch, taste, smell and feel things from “my” perspective.
How did the 10,298,453,312th human to be born become “me”? Why me and not someone else?
Science can explain how we arrived here as a species. That in itself is strange enough. But can anyone explain where self-awareness came from?
Awareness of self brings with it both triumph and tragedy. While we exalt in experiencing the universe, we become painfully aware of our own mortality: a hundred and fifty years ago there was no “me” to experience things; a hundred and fifty years from now there will be no “me” again. We are all born, live and die.