I have to admit, I'm pretty hard on my kids.  All kids do things that drive their parents crazy, and I'm certainly not one that shies away from letting my disapproval be known.  Every now & again, however, one (or both) of my boys will make their ol' man proud.  


Photo by Jamie Garrett

When there are moment where my kids do something to make me proud, I wonder if they're truly catching on to this whole "life" thing, or whether it's an "even a broken clock is right twice a day" thing.  Life is hard.  Life takes time.  Life takes effort.  Those are all things my kids (and most kids) hate.  This is a generation of children that have the entire world of entertainment at their fingertips.  There's no more waiting until Saturday morning to watch cartoons.  There are at least a dozen TV channels devoted to cartoons.  Food is instantaneous.  This is a soft generation.

I must admit, I've even given in to the ways of "convenience" when I'm in need of a tire change.  I've had some rough instances of tire-changing over the years.  About 10 years ago I discovered the luxury of roadside assistance.  I haven't changed a tire since.  I've waited upwards of an hour just for someone to arrive.  It's not that I don't know how to change a tire, it's just a matter of using a benefit of my auto insurance that I'm not going to turn down.

Photo by Jamie Garrett

My wife arrived home a few evenings ago with a flat tire.  Well, it was going flat fast.  I could literally hear & feel the air rushing out of the tire.  I had my insurance card in my hand, and I was ready to make the call for someone to come change my tire.  That's when I realized I was passing up a "teaching" moment.  Unlike my childhood, which for some reason never saw me in a vehicle that got a flat tire, my boys would learn how to change a tire.

This wasn't a flat tire on the side of a busy highway, it was sitting right in my own driveway.  I could show them how to do it.  I could even get them to do some of the labor for me.  The boys came through in grand style.  I was highly impressed by the determination of my younger son, Logan.  He was clearly out of his league in terms of muscle to loosen & tighten the lugnuts, but that didn't stop him.  He put every bit of energy & muscle he had into turning those nuts.  Even Tyler didn't do his usual "45 seconds of interest followed by 45 minutes of hiding to avoid more work".

My boys now know how to change a tire.  My next goal is to get them to go far in their schooling so they, too, will be able to get the auto insurance with roadside assistance so they never actually HAVE to change a tire.