The Gift of Trust
A simple thing: mowing the lawn. For many kids, it's a chore. But for me it was a rite a passage. PupPup often gave me the gift of trust and responsibility I didn't get in my normal life - and using his riding lawn mower to mow the lawn represents that to me.
For as long as I can remember, he would allow me to do whatever he was doing. When he worked in his garage using tools, he let me hammer nails into wood. By normal standards, I was way too young to be trusted with a hammer, but PupPup believed I could do it and I did. He taught me to use a bandsaw when I was eight so we could make something I dreamed up.
His actions made me feel included. Loved. Trusted. Valued. Important.
And when I start to say no to my kids because they're too young or too little, I hear his voice in my head. Include them. They won't do it perfectly, but that's okay. You are their example. It means more than I'll ever know.