A few weeks ago, I was talking to Oz and mentioned that as the kids get older, they really need him more, not less. M2 needs him to be a strong male figure and to set an example of what she should expect to find in a good relationship and also to be a sounding board for the inevitable time when Mom's thoughts and opinions no longer count for anything. M1 needs him to set an example, too, and also to teach him things that I can't.
Like soldering. With M1's engineering bent, soldering is one of those things that he's going to want to know how to do sooner or later. He got to do a little bit of it when we visited Kansas City in October and loved it, but once does not proficiency make.
Oz, being a good husband, visited a store and came home with a small project for M1 to put together. M2 got curious and followed the boys out to the garage, and I grabbed the camera to tag along.
Oz was very patient as the kids tried to work out which pieces were what and how they all fit together.
Those symbols are very tiny, after all.
M1, however, was primarily the one doing the soldering. M2 got bored and left long before the project was finished, but M1 stuck to it and saw the whole thing through to the end.
It's almost out of season now, but this tiny Christmas tree is still sitting on the bar in our kitchen. Sometimes someone will walk by and shove the tree's contacts down onto the 9-volt battery, and the lights twinkle brightly. Mostly, though, it shines as an example of what can be done with a little patience, dedication, and a great dad.