Saturday I found out that the in-laws had bought Ben a swingset as a birthday present. His birthday was about a month ago, before we were settled into our new house. Paul brought it over, boxed up, on Sunday morning at about eight. He and I worked on it until about noon. The instructions were horrible, and Shannon told me after we had finished that she had read online reviews of the set that said the same. We had to stop and take pieces off more than once to turn them around, flip them over, or both, because we were not warned at certain times to be wary of which way those parts were installed. The set ended up looking great, and Ben absolutely loves it. We skipped putting in the see-saw for now, because the instructions call for setting it in concrete. We were not up to that challenge at straight-up noon in August. It was not quite 100 degrees, maybe, but we had been out there in it long enough.
Ben’s new set has two “regular” swings, one dual swing in which two kids sit facing each other, a slide, and a coming-soon see-saw.
One thing I noticed, which I’ve noticed before, is that guys get a lot done without saying a word. Perhaps women do, too, but I’ve never built anything with a woman, except my wife, so I can’t speak to that. If both men have at least a little history assembling and/or building things, then there’s an inherent understanding of what one should be doing at any given time. Each can anticipate what the other needs, and the teamwork that results is rewarding. Paul and I never had worked on a project like this together, but we executed as if we had.
Maybe that’s why my dad would get frustrated sometimes when I would “help” him as a young child. There he was, doing something, and was not particularly talkative about it. Maybe in the back of his mind he was expecting me to act on cue, do the next thing that came naturally in the whole process. As a child, however, I had no reference by which to anticipate what he needed. Finally, I guess after I had not done what was expected, he would direct me what to do.