An old story

Yesterday, my oldest daughter was with me in the workshop for just a few minutes after lunch. I was getting ready to head back to work, but I wanted to take a few minutes to tidy up before leaving. She asked if she could help. Anyone who has ever received “help” from a five year old knows that you have to hold a sort of loose interpretation of the word. It usually ends up taking twice as long to do the job and you mostly have to re-do the job anyway.

But she already had the brush and dustpan in her hand, and so I said, “sure, what the heck. Here’s a trashcan.”

I have to be honest, she surprised me. She worked hard and did a decent job. As she was finishing up I told her that in past times, when people wanted to learn how to work with wood as cabinet makers and joiners, sweeping was usually their first job. I told her that if they could clean up the shop well, it showed that they were responsible and then they could start learning how to do other things. I said it off-hand really, just passing the time as we swept. And then she said this:

“Papa, I love working out here with you. Thank you for telling me an old story.”

I really don’t have to write the rest of this post do I? You know how it goes. My heart swelled up. I gave her a hug and said, “I love working with you too. You’re welcome.”

I thought about that all day. How a simple “old” story can be told well, and what that might mean to those who hear it.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    Beautiful, and very well told (in both cases). I almost wish I could turn back the clock to when my daughter was that age. Those are some good times, for sure. Treasure them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat McNulty says:

    If more parents took this approach, what a wonderful world this would be.


  3. Graves wrote that all takes are retold over time. I think that’s true, and time and location simply affect perspective, and inform the relevance of medium and mode of delivery. This piece had a touching resonance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meh, proof before post “tales” not “takes” lol!


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