Imperfection – Day 2

I’m blogging every day of November, with each day being a post about a thing for which I am grateful. – HH

I’m grateful for having had parents that encouraged me to be bad at things.

My dad was a pretty good photographer. He was a pretty good woodworker, and a pretty good carpenter, and a pretty good electrician. He wasn’t amazing at any of them, but better than most.

And he was OK with doing it less than perfectly.

In the dining room of our current house, the doorway has a piece of trim I put up and the miter is imperfect. It’s noticeable, but really only if you are looking for it. Of course, the first time they came over I pointed it out, embarrassed.

Being Dad, he told me not to worry about it, and then told me about a friend of his that studied how to make furniture.

“He would take all year to make a bookcase, but when he was done, it was absolutely perfect. But I wanted to know how to make a bookcase, and how to make a cabinet, and how to wire it for lights, and how to fix the engine on my car, and how to carve a whistle. He could make a bookcase better than me, no doubt. But he only knew how to do one thing perfectly, and I learned how to do lots of things imperfectly.”

I was never pressured to be perfect. I was never pressured to fit into their idea of what I should be, and it was fine for me to bring any grade home as long as it was a C or above.

“Because C is average, and you are not below average.”

Or this exchange I will never forget, when I was about 12:

Dad: Son, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Me: I don’t know Dad. What do you want me to be?
Dad: Happy, son. I want you to be happy when you grow up.

%d bloggers like this: