Spent a couple of nights this week helping my small child (6' 2" senior in
high school) build a motorized turn table using a blender for the power
source for an engineering class. As we worked on the project I kept
thinking that if he had brought it to me 8 weeks ago how much better I could
have made it. How I could have changed the motor type and used a speed
control, or how I could have built in reduction gears to slow it down. No
he had drawn up the plans and all he needed from me was help in building a
case and changing the drive on the blender to work with the shaft of the
turn table. I did get to design a cotter key to keep the turntable from
flying off the motor but that was about it. I new that he would fail
because I didn't have enough input into the final project. Grade came in to
day, 100 out of 100 points. Made me feel very humble and very proud of him,
he is growing up too fast.
cyl Ford engine based on what he had learned in a high school auto
He did everything himself, I just happened to be there when he did the
He did this after school, in the winter time, in an unheated garage
that was part of the house.
Took him several weeks and some money (his), but finally the engine
was re-installed in that crappy Mavrick.
The moment of truth. Turned the key, engine cranked over until primed,
then roared to life.
Got a couple more years out of that beast.
He has gone on to become a full blown research rocket scientist for
the military doing things he would have to kill me if he told me what
I still remember playing golf in the afternoon after he was born, it
was a beautiful warm October afternoon in northern Ohio.
Turns 47 this fall.
Yes time flies.
One of the hardest skills to learn as a parent is getting out of the
The irony of the job is that if you do it right, at some point, they
need you anymore.
I remember the moment when I realized that. The kid was five and the
training wheels on his bike had been taken off - at his insistance. I
the back of the seat 'til he got some up some speed for balance. I let
go and he biked down the sidewalk. Stopping was interesting but he
He's 32 now and still working in the bike business, for a French company
(LOOK) that sells $6,000 bicycle frames - along with a lot of other high
end bikes and bike equiptment.
Seems not "hovering" is one skill required of parents. You've got to
leave them room to grow.
Thanks for the post.
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