Lest you think that the only analogies I’m capable of drawing are sports analogies–I assure you, they are not. That being said…tonight I was in THE ZONE!
Athletes will immediately be familiar with this term, but for those that couldn’t care less about sports… what is WRONG with you?!? Oh wait, I got off on a tangent. Allow me to regroup.
When an athlete has a performance in which he/she seemingly can do no wrong, this is considered “The Zone”. Basketball players speak of the hoop appearing to be 3 feet wide. Golfers describe being able to actually see the line the putt will take. You get the point. Well, tonight I visited this wonderful zone.
The sport? Hammering. Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know. Hammering is not a sport you say. Obviously, you have never been around when I get into handyman mode. Normally when I grab a hammer and some nails, it becomes a sport of survival for anyone within the vicinity of my project. My thumbs and fingers have often been on the losing end in this contest. Occasionally a wayward blow with the hammer will cause the nail to fly across the room as if fired from a high powered rifle. Safety glasses are always a good idea…even if you’re in another room. Tonight, however, was different.
I was replacing the floor in our bathroom–all the way down to the subflooring. After the requisite removal of the TWO previous layers of damaged flooring (apparently the phrase “requisite removal” wasn’t in the vocabulary of the person who had the house before us and decided to simply make repairs by adding a layer), I cut and installed the new subfloor. After making sure it was situated properly, I reached for the hammer and nails. As I lined up the first nail and prepared to begin tapping it to set it in place, out of the corner of my eye I noticed something. I had an audience. My son.
This was no longer just a home repair project. THIS was a moment where a son looks to his father and determines whether he wants to be like him when he grows up. This was epic. He decided to up the stakes a little. He started TALKING to me. TALKING!! At a moment like this?! The following conversation ensued:
I carefully placed the first nail against the floor and began to set it. He leaned close–sans safety glasses. This was serious. The nail set perfectly and I began to strike. Firm, crisp, clean blows reigned down on its ten penny head. In no time at all, the head of the nail was flush against the wooden floor. Something was different this time. That was easier than normal. Was it a fluke? The only way to know was to move to the next nail. And move, I did. Two nails done. Three. Five. Ten. Before I knew it, the flooring was completely secured and a realization came flooding over me.
I HADN’T MISSED ON A SINGLE SWING!! EVERY NAIL WAS PERFECT! I WAS IN THE ZONE!!
As I slowly looked toward my son, I wondered what I would see. Did he stay for the whole thing? Was he impressed? Did he realized what he had just witnessed?
My eyes caught his and locked for an instant. “Well, what do you think?”, I asked.
He looked at me and with wide eyes said “You’re the coolest Dad in the whole wide world!” After that, he rushed in, hugged my leg, and just like that–was gone.
So there I was…”The Coolest Dad in the Whole Wide World” standing on my masterpiece and basking in the glory of my son’s adulation. It was truly an amazing moment.
Maybe he DOES want to be like me when he grows up.
Maybe this was a seminal moment in his development as a man.
Maybe he didn’t notice the gaping hole in the drywall that I made just minutes before he decided to watch.