I wish I were good at undertakings...Yesterday morning I was doing dishes. I don't actually mind doing dishes. For some reason, the sight of an empty, clean stainless steel sink is appealing to me. Must come from my youthful days as a dishwasher. Those days were immediately followed by my slightly-less-youthful days as a cook. I washed a lot of dishes for a boss that was extremely difficult to satisfy and cooked a lot of food for people who were much like my boss. Anyone who has ever or is currently working in the food service industry (or any service-oriented business, for that matter) certainly knows what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Anyhow, and I say this with all possible modesty, I became a good dishwasher (big deal, eh? I mean, any moron can wash dishes, right?) and a decent cook. Throughout life I have become, either out of necessity or out of desire, good at a short list of other things as well. I won't go into them because perhaps my list is embarrassingly short. I dunno. Still, there are so many things that I don't do well at all. My son unintentionally pointed out a major one of those to me yesterday.
As is common, my son (who is 3) was repeatedly asking me to let him help wash dishes. I love it when he "helps" me. His help usually consists of suds-scooping. Here's the general outline: I clear everything out of one of the sink basins, adding water and enough dish soap until there is a healthy (almost steroidally unhealthy, now that I think of it) amount of suds in the sink. Then I put in some of his dishes, which are plastic and relatively difficult to break. These he will hide under the suds. Then he takes a spoon and scoops suds into a cup. After rinsing these suds out of the cup in my side of the sink, he repeats the process. Tirelessly. He is usually very careful not to actually wash any of the dishes. His success rate at washing-avoidance is extremely high.
Yesterday was no exception. There was, as always, an abundance of suds. He buckled down and kept at it, though. Soon he had an area cleared away where you could see the water and a couple pieces of silverware that lay beneath. This pleased him to no end. "Look, Daddy! I can see my Spiderman fork under the water!" I looked. Indeed the Spiderman fork could be clearly seen. But the suds were closing in on the open space at a dangerous pace. I pointed this out and told my son that he'd better watch out. He assured me he would. I said "that's an ambitious undertaking, little guy." He sighed and said "I know. I'm good at undertakings."
He's good at undertakings. At age 3. That comment forced me to ask myself "am I good at undertakings?" I don't think I am. Not really. I seem to start a helluva lot more things (undertakings) than I finish. Whether it's a woodworking project, a story or whatever, I often just can't seem to close it out.
Damn. Add one big one to the other list; the list of things I not good at. Undertakings.