Mamas (and Daddies), don't let your babies grow up to be useless...
Apologies to Uncle Willie, of course.
On any given day, I feel like a very capable, strong woman (hear me roar!). But whenever I'm confronted by anything resembling a "maintenance" issue-- be it with my jalopy or my house, or in this case someone else's house-- I am reduced to a manic pile of quivering stressmeat.
I don't blame being brought up by a single mother; Big Mama Lou has become much more capable than I am over the years. I blame being brought up being surrounded by so many exceptionally capable men. My grandfather, Chip, was a plumbing and heating guy, but he was a jack of all trades. He could woodwork with the best of them, perform car repairs, and fix nigh anything if given the time. And he raised his four sons (five, if you count my dad, who died when I was a babe) to be equally handy. I doubt that side of my family has called more than a half dozen repairfolk over the course of the past five decades.
But me, I never learned to change a tire or how to figure out what's wrong with my water heater or how to fix a leaky faucet. It's all beyond me. And this lack of basic maintenance skills has (a) caused me grief and (b) cost me a considerable bit of money in my adult life.
So yeah, this tangent is apropos of nothing, really. I'm just offering a PSA to my readers with kiddos:
If you're not handy, if your partner-- if you have one-- is not handy, and y'all have kids: apprentice said kids to a handy relative or friend. Force your babes to learn how to paint a room, how to jump a dead battery, and how to shut off the main waterline to the house. Find someone who can teach them financial management and how to say "no" to those t-shirt-offering credit card companies on their college campuses.
And heck, if you're not handy, and you find someone to teach your KIDS to be handy, well maybe then you'll also save yourself a boatload of money on plumbers and painters and mechanics and electricians along the way.
I'm just sayin'...