I’m not going to be all my kids need in life. This may sound obvious, but when I actually face the reality it’s a bit difficult for me to handle. There are things I just don’t know, do well, or can anticipate about the world they will one day inherit. This is never more apparent than when it’s time to bust out the tools.
You see, I’m just not a handyman. When it comes to repairs on the house, car, or yard – I’m complete shit. Now if you are thinking “Ryan, how bad can it really be?”
It’s that bad.
Fortunately I married into a family of people who love that stuff and will therefore be a part of the culture my kids will grow up around. I think that granting our kids the opportunity to learn from others, and the awareness that we can’t be all that they need is actually helpful. Saying “I don’t know, let’s find someone who knows more about that” can be a great way for kids to understand that community matters and to explore the vast amounts of knowledge that others possess. I have no doubt that I will pass things on to my children. We will have our special things that only we share, but there will also be those areas of life that will require us to explore the greatness in others.
This goes against many of the “norms” within culture’s view of masculinity. The strong, independent, and all-knowing male is often projected as the ideal state, but I would argue that there is much of this that we need to renegotiate. Let’s be vulnerable and be at peace with saying “I don’t know” or “You know what, I’m not very good at this but let’s go look for someone who is and learn together.” There is a beauty in others and to allow our kids to experience it is a gift we can give them.