On April 1ST 2020, Rob Kenney started a Youtube Channel called “Dad, how do I?”. His first video was a clip on how to tie a tie. Every Thursday he shares a new “How to” video and he’s now added a “Tool Tuesday” where he explains a new tool every Tuesday. His father walked out on his family when he was a teenager and his goal was to have a happy home and raise good children. Now in his 50’s with two adult children, he started this channel to share practical tasks he believes everyone should know. Practical tasks that if you’re lucky, your father may have taught you.
We were lucky. Our father was hands-on and incredibly handy. If something broke, he’d fix it. If there was a DIY project to do or woodwork to make, he was all-in. His DIY projects were never solo, they were family affairs where he would teach us how to fix things, make things and use power tools. He taught me to change a tire, change out a broken window, tile a bathroom, build a bookshelf (and a shoe shelf), sand, varnish, use a drill, jigsaw and radial arm saw. He also taught me never to force things. It was in context of using his arm saw and my impatience, but much like his lesson to Feige to “never reverse more than you have to”, it acts as a valuable life lesson. Since he passed away we’ve realised how he taught each one of us practical life skills. Skills that we’ve had to use; so that when our first thought is “Ta, how do I?”, we think back to what he did and do it.
With Father’s Day coming up, I asked some daughters to share the most practical things their fathers taught them. A celebration of the men who were there to answer “Dad, how do I?”
My dad is an incredibly hands on man. Growing up I witnessed him as a Colonel in the police force, a taxi owner, mechanic, and a very handy man who loves this girl of his.
I would often spend my Saturdays laying underneath a car with him, as he was always fixing up a different car, hoping my hands would get as greasy and dirty like his. I would tag along to car stores to pick up anything ranging from a piston for the engine that he was building or brake fluid. As much as I loved learning about how to build an engine and how a car works. I always knew that I would definitely not build my own engine one day but buy a brand-new car when I eventually started driving.
However, the one lesson that my dad taught me that has come in handy a few times is how to change a tire. As a female, I still think it’s such an important lesson to learn. I’ll never forget the day I had my first flat tire when I was younger, while on a highway (thankfully my mum was with me). For many people, panic would probably set in, but I was very calm, maybe even a tad bit excited as I would now put into practice what I was taught. Right there on the highway I went to the boot of the car, took out everything I needed, the car jack, spanner and spare tire and proceeded to change the flat tire on the front passenger side and did so confidently. Thankful that I also remembered the very important lesson of tying the wheel nuts in a diagonal sequence, not too tight at first, and once all are added, make sure they are all tight and secure.
I love my dad so much and I am thankful for all the “everyday” lessons that he taught me.
When we moved into our house 29 years ago, all the walls were painted a basic white. I was excited because I would finally have a room to share with my sister and I’ve always loved colour. My father taught me how to paint and the basic essentials for a paint job. I loved nautical stripes and we went shopping for the items we’d need. A tape, little cans of red and blue paint, little paint brushes and a drop cloth. This is one skill I use over and over again and has saved me tons of money in labour.
I think the best part about my dad is that he is a girly-dad. He is super involved with everything we do as girls. He is never ‘too much of a man’ to have fun with us!
What I adore about my dad is his ability to teach us life lessons in a way that feels loving and kind. He never uses force or discipline to make us ‘learn our lesson’ – he always makes it into an act of love. He has taught me so much of what I know and am capable of today.
My dad loves having us around, so everything he’s able to do (which is EVERYTHING), we can now almost do.
He’s taught us how to change a car wheel; how to drill a hole into a concrete wall; how to drive a car; how to put something together without ever using the manual (we are all too impatient for that haha); how to cook (he is the best chef with a love for fine-dining); how to clean a crayfish (our love for seafood); how to varnish wood and how to do proper gardening (which is my favourite of them all).
Growing up my dad made our garden a living fairytale playground. We would have the most beautiful flowers, biggest trees and perfectly cut green grass. Since getting married – this has been the one thing I got most excited about: having my own garden. Of course Deddy had to come and help; so with a lot of love and time- he bought us the most beautiful plants and trees and flowers to decorate our tiny house garden. Every day when I look outside, I see my dad and his loving and caring spirit roaming around in my garden. I love spending time in my garden. Taking care of it feels like a small gift of thanks I am giving back to him for years of being a brilliant dad to us and still is.
I love my Deddy so much x.