Grandchildren are great teachers. Recently my 9-year-old grandson, Brett, taught me the importance of pride in workmanship.
For Christmas I received an unassembled computer cart. I said to Brett on the telephone, "The next time you come down, we'll put it together." Soon after he arrived at Easter, he asked me about doing the job. I was a bit skeptical, but I could tell he wanted to try and told him to open the box. Before I could change my mind, he had all the pieces out, the instruction sheet open and the parts arranged in proper order.I asked him a few questions, then decided I was more a hindrance than help and left him alone to work on it.
After more than an hour, he came downstairs wearing a $2,000 smile and said, "Grandma, come and see."
We walked upstairs, and there was the cart put together with only one small flaw he hadn't previously noticed – the bottom shelf was backward, with the unfinished edge facing outward.
I could see the look of disappointment on his face and reassured him that it looked fine and we could put some stain on the raw edge. "It's the bottom shelf, and nobody will ever notice," I said.
The next morning while the rest of us slept, Brett rose early, took the cart apart and reassembled it perfectly.
What a lesson to learn from a 9-year-old boy. While I was willing to settle for less-than-perfect workmanship, he wasn't.