September 12, 2010
A Gift of Learning
Cameron received a new car audio system for his 18th birthday from his brothers and me.  New sound turned out to be only part of the present.
When his brothers and I discussed the budget for the gift, I said it would depend on how much installation would cost if instructions showed that getting into this car's dashboard may be a recipe for disaster.  I've done damage in dashboards before, all in the name of "simple" projects.  Dion said the project had to be "do it yourself," to which I replied, "So Cam and I can cuss together like you and I did on your car and Justin and I on his truck?"  I knew the answer while I asked the question.
Instructions showed the process would not be too cumbersome, so Cameron and I tackled the project.  As he and I worked on the installation, I gave him a task so he could be part of the process and learn.  Certainly, this will not be the last audio system he installs in his lifetime.
He balked at the first assignment, saying "I don't want to break anything."  I said, "That is how you learn.  Try it.  Sometimes something breaks and you learn.  Trust me.  I've broken stuff!"
We continued the process with only a few hiccups, and completed the work.  The speakers did not perform properly, so I crawled into the trunk of his Lancer to get a better view of the connections.  As I explained what I was looking for, he said, "How do you know so much, Dad?"  I laughed.  He said, "Really.  Every time I call you with a question or we're working on something, you have a good answer."
"Thanks, buddy," I said.  "I'm glad I am able to help with some things.  As for knowing things, though...remember what I said earlier about breaking stuff?"
We both laughed.
I had just shared with him a truth my mom and dad had always encouraged and accepted-try and learn, try and grow.
th and knowledge cross the generations, and each moment of interaction provides a chance to teach and learn, no matter how simple the opportunity.  It can be a great gift.

Listen to Life is a  
free ewsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com).  ght 2010 Dion McInnis.  All rights reserved.

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