Last Tuesday I was out in the pasture with my wife fixing a horse fence. My 4 year old grandson Nicholas was over and wanted to come and help--I said it didn't sound like a good idea for him to come into the pasture (because I have a hard time working on things while keeping an eye on a child in a potentially dangerous situation), but Grandma said it would be fine, so along he came.
The 5 minute fix turned into an hour project as I noticed additional problems that we needed to tend to. Near the end of the fix, while my wife was holding a board above her head and saying, "hurry up! I can't hold this much longer!", I realized I had lost the square bit that I needed to drive the screw in and relieve her. I was panicking looking in my pockets, looking on the ground, apologizing to my wife, and generally not knowing what to do. Dear Nicholas looked at me matter-of-factly and said, "Grandpa, you could use the one in your mouth". I then noticed that I had been holding the bit between my lips the whole time. I laughed out loud as I thanked him and drove the screw into the board.
It immediately took me back to a memory with my son Dan when he was 6 years old and helping me put in a new glass sliding door. I was putting the frame together on the ground before lifting it into the hole in the house and shimming it. As I screwed the four sides of the frame together, my son casually pointed to the 4 X 4 post that supported the deck above us. He wondered how I was going to get the frame off of the 4 X 4 once it was screwed together. The post was actually in the center of the square I had created! I had to laugh.
How horribly myopic in both situations, and yet, if I'm honest, this happens more often than I would like to admit in relationships. I see what I see REALLY clearly, but I have lost sight of other important elements, sometimes critical elements to the big picture. I think the best solution to this is to stay humble. I am not going to fix it so these blind spots never happen. I learned long ago that bluffing my way through was not the best way to deal with it either. So hopefully, I can just enjoy the spice that it brings to my life, and the satisfaction that the Dan's and Nicholas's get from being truly helpful.