“Daddy, what needs fixing?” is what I think Ethan was saying as he dropped to the floor and opened his tool kit in front of me.
Imaginative play has erupted recently in my house with Liam leading the way, which only motivates Ethan to embrace it and keep up. Construction has always been a favourite with my boys, so when our behavioural consultants left some costumes and a tool box at our house, things got real, very quickly.
The fridge was measured, the dishwasher was hammered, the oven had some screws loose and the wrench came out for the pipes under the sink.
All the while I was still thinking of the initial question. “Daddy, what needs fixing?” Just an innocent question from a three-year-old with no concept of an ironic deeper meaning. No concept of the state of the world surrounding him.
I looked around the room at our broken family, each one of us trying desperately to survive in our own ways. I thought to myself, I need to be fixed... we ALL need to be fixed, but how? Where do you begin?
Just then my phone rang and it was the repair shop detailing all the issues they found “under the hood” preventing my vehicle from meeting the acceptable standards of being roadworthy. My vehicle needs to be fixed and half the time I don’t even know what side the gas tank is on, let alone how to fix a spark plug.
After I hung up, I swiped past a messaging app on my phone that now only reminds me of a broken relationship. Was it something I said? Is it my kids...my family? While it hurts, it’s far from the first time I’ve had a broken relationship in my life that needs fixing. You’d think that after numerous broken relationships I would have this figured out by now, but I don’t. All it has left me with is a void filled with more questions.
He asked again, “Daddy, what needs fixing?” As a tear rolled down my cheek I quietly said, “everything... everything needs fixing, Ethan.” He looked up at me and with a sparkle in his eye and a grin on his face he excitedly said, “Okay Daddy... I fix!” and grabbed his tool box and ran down the hall.