Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When I met Eric, he told me he was a carpenter. My eyes lit up.

“Ooh,” I said with a glint in my eye. I had already put him to work on many projects in my mind. I told him as much, began to fantasize out loud about the bookshelves I wanted built for my bedroom.

He put up his hand to stop me mid-stream and shrugged. “I mostly take people to IKEA, help them pick something out and put it together. It costs less, it’s less work…I might not make as much but it’s faster.” He smiled sheepishly in a way I have now come to recognize.

“I don’t need ALL the money, just some,” he said. It was then that I whipped out the gold star, his first one.

But I got Eric to build me those bookshelves. He bypassed the easy route and did the hard thing, he really built something.

And that’s why I gave Eric his second gold star.

I went to IKEA with Eric. I was, as I expected it to be--no offense at all to the Swedish—grossly underwhelmed by the quality. I love books, I wouldn’t do that to them, couldn’t. I asked Eric if he wouldn’t consider maybe, actually, building me something.

He rolled his eyes, but he rolled up his sleeves and, voila! Eric built me these beautiful book shelves, custom, angled to match the ceiling (if there was any question they were made exquisitely to fit.) There is even a pullout shelf for my keyboard, as he designed to spec!

I smiled at Eric as we stood staring at them, the product of a great gold star moment.

“So?” I said. “How do you feel? Pretty good, huh?”

He rolled his eyes, smiled sheepishly, and then nodded. Sometimes, I would actually argue, maybe ALL the time, hard work is its own reward. See what we can build if we really try? I never cease to be amazed. Thanks Eric, for all you’ve done…and will do…for me and others. It is work that will last a lifetime, or two or three.

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