It was not always so. My father was a very intelligent, physically fit and mentally agile man. At home, he would always be fixing things, though his projects were never sophisticated or beautifully finished. They were manifested merely to fulfil a function, and invariably the DIY job ended up with wheels on it. It was a standing joke.
And somehow, out of five children, I was always the goafer, mostly willing. Fetching, holding, sorting, fixing. But then, I didn’t often have a choice. I just did it. I’m very thankful for it. Those skills have served me well time and again getting things done without having to wait around for someone else to fix it for me. At times, worryingly. Like when I got fed up waiting and decided to drill holes and put a mirror up, but the light kept switching on and off. It was the light switch meeting a fate that I could have too. That was a few years ago. I blame it on post pregnancy brain.
It is the first day of half term today. The rain has wrecked our plans for various reasons, and somehow we have all drifted aimlessly in and out of a frustrated fog. As the children have grown older, I have made fewer projects with them. We could have been more constructive today. There is an upside though - we chatted. And having expressed annoyance at ‘women generally abusing the feminist movement and thinking all men are pigs’, my sons concluded that I was okay because I ‘get on with things’.
But I was made to promise never, ever to say ‘I’m always happy to get my tool kit out’.