Reluctantly Helping Dad by Tony Toledo

I believe this is called growing up, isn’t it?

As a teenager I thought my father knew nothing. He often needed my help putting brakes on the family car, or fixing a leaking roof, or clearing a clogged pipe. I fought him ever inch of the way. I was the worst, most unhelpful, grumpiest helper in the world.

Well, I fast forward to my own home ownership. I call Dad. “Hey, Pop, I got a leak in our kitchen ceiling. How do I find out where it’s coming from? To which Dad said, “Don’t you remember I showed you how to do that when you helped me at home?” And he laughed. And I admitted I should have been paying some attention instead of none.

For four years I was calling Dad every time I needed help with the house. And every time I told him I was sorry for being a jerk at 17. He laughed and always gave me his solid home repair advice for free.

Dad was not one to talk about mushy touchy feely things. He could talk about work related things all day long. Here in our little house in Beverly the attic steps have roughed out plaster on the walls. We use that rough plaster as our guest book. Dad and Mom visited us in 1999, a year after we bought our massive one tenth of an acre estate. I cherish Dad’s signed message on our wall to KR and me.  I wish I could still call him today to ask him the best way to reglaze our windows. 

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