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ODDS & ENDS
The Broom Lesson
Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke.

by Hal Evan Caplan
October 6, 2009

The Broom Lesson_Hal Evan Caplan-Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke.My tyke is my teacher and sometimes the lessons that I am to learn from him don't go as expected. Or maybe a better explanation is that sometimes I think I see a lesson in the making and assume that I have finally figured it out, when he brings the "real" lesson to my attention. Well, let me tell you, this certainly wasn't the case here and as the 'ole saying goes... don't assume because "it will make an @$$ of you and me". Teachers have a way of throwing curve balls into their lesson plans. This is why he is my teacher and I am the student.

Okay, so I'm a little embarrassed to say that the second time we tried to have the yard sale, it rained! Now, I’m not talking the "drizzle" type, I’m talking about the-bottom-falling-out-pouring. So, the "Yard Sale" saga continues and we have scheduled it for a third time. I can honestly say that you will not hear about this yard sale saga anymore because one of two things WILL happen. One, the yard sale will be a success and the majority of our "stuff" will be sold or, the yard sale will not happen and the Goodwill truck will be picking up the whole lot of it... case closed, end of story.

Because of this third time around, I was in the process of rearranging the garage, AGAIN. In doing so, I obviously moved a bunch of items all over the place. This of course revealed areas of the garage that have not seen the sun in a very, very long time. Along the side of one particular stretch of the wall; scraps of wood, major dirt build up, dust balls and other unrecognizable items had accumulated for who knows how long.

Once I had the items for sale all in one place, my goal was to place the items that were not for sale back over to the wall where this mess resided and then, in the end, once everything was sold, I was planning on cleaning out the garage 100%.

Just as I started putting the boxes that were not for sale against that dirty wall, my teacher walked into the garage from the house. It was first thing in the morning and my teacher had been in bed at the time I got started in the garage, so this was the first time I had seen him that day.

"Hey Dad." He said
"Good morning Son." I greeted him.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"I am getting ready for the yard sale." I replied.
"Again?" He commented.
"Yes, again, but this time, it will really happen!" I demanded.
"Can I help?" He asked.
"I'm not sure how." I expressed.
"What do you mean?" He questioned.
"Well I'm moving these boxes that are pretty heavy and I don't want you to get hurt." I explained.

Disappointed in hearing my response, he went back into the house. I thought this was the end of it and I kept going for a short period of time. Then, feeling bad about his reaction, I went inside to see how he was doing and if he needed anything, like some breakfast.

At that moment he was not interested in breakfast and ran upstairs to his room stating that he was going to change from his "night-night" clothes into his play clothes. I made a comment along the lines that I'm sure I could find some way for him to help. Just then, the phone rang and my friend was on the other end. We chatted for a little while and then I explained to my friend that I had to get back to the garage and finish up. I then, entered the garage and found my teacher trying to move the boxes away from the wall. Obviously, I needed to get to the bottom of this...

"Ummmm, excuse me there dude." I uttered.
Without missing a beat he quickly asked that I help him move the boxes away from the wall.
"What are you trying to do?" I asked.
"Move the boxes." He replied.
"Okay, let me re-phrase the question... why are you moving the boxes?" I chuckled.

Before my teacher answered, I knew the lesson I was to learn; at least I thought I knew. I assumed that he was questioning how I stacked the boxes, or the placement of some of the items that were on top of the boxes. Little did I know, that was NOT the lesson at all and the real lesson was soon to reveal itself. My teacher pleaded with me for a little bit, and then I helped him move the boxes and items out of the way.

Once the boxes were several feet away from the wall, he raced inside the house and out of sight. I stood there a little puzzled. I wasn't too sure what he was doing. As I opened the door to call him in order to figure out this mystery, he dashed past me and ran to the other end of the garage. My teacher reappeared from behind "the stuff" with a dust pan and broom.

He walked over to the pile of debris against the wall and began to sweep all of the dirt, dust, and other items into a pile. He handed me the broom and dustpan.

"This area is very dirty, Dad." He pointed out.
"I know." I replied.
"You shouldn't cover dirty areas with boxes and stuff." He advised.
"I was planning on doing it at a latter time." I explained.
"But then you don't have to do it later." He emphasized.

He did have a valid point...

In a Nutshell, the lesson that I was reminded of that day is: if you are going to start something, do it right the first time.


About the Author:
Originally from Colorado; now residing in Alabama. Hal is married and has a son. Hal loves the outdoors, especially snowboarding and plays ice hockey on a weekly basis...and of course, always learns from his son.


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