[T]alk about how you spent a weekend building a house for a low-income family and learned how to use a compound mitre saw. In metric. They will be cowed. But they will also be fascinated. Girls will think you’ve got balls, and boys will imagine you with a hammer in your hand, wearing nothing but a utility belt. Everybody wins.
Power tools scare me back into childhood nightmare territory. I’d rather use a butter knife to drive in a screw than work up the courage to touch the drill, snip the overgrown walkway grass with scissors before shouldering the giant weed wacker, use my shoe as a makeshift hammer until hell froze over or my hands ran bloody before plugging in the pneumatic nailer.
So she was not thrilled to receive a chainsaw as a gift, until:
My first balky lesson took place on our ancient, deformed pear tree. A plant that I despise beyond reason. It stands Oz warped against the night sky, ugly with its witch finger twigs waving over my boy’s bedrooms, offering up bitter, fallen fruit that tempt the dogs into flagrant states of explosive diarrhea.
And motivated by the desire to dispatch this horrid sample of Pyrus obnoxious, she took saw in hand, and:
The first cut felt almost soft, like running your fingertips over the rough edge of raw cut silk, so much easier than the sticky hack-bow I’ve manhandled into compliance over the past ten years.
Twenty minutes later, confidence found, I was ripping through the backyard like a tiny, euphoric lumberjack.
And, be it noted, she’s okay.