from the Midwest, so a pressure washer is a foreign object to me. In the Midwest, you worry about snow,
falling leaves, and grass seed. There
is little need for a pressure washer.
One of my friend's husbands invested in one a number of years ago, being
the only one in his neighborhood to have one he thought he would be helpful,
since there isn't a lot to use one on.
He offered to wash their windows with his newly acquired pressure
washer. After he blew out the second
window on a neighbor's house, he gave up being a good neighbor, and I'm sure
the rest of the neighborhood was grateful.
With that as a backdrop, I recently purchased a pressure washer with
first issue is getting the pressure washer to work. After enlisting others to assist me in
getting the object together, the first one was returned. On the second pressure washer, it was
another problem. The first difficulty I overcame, but the second was that the
spray gun would not go together.
Happily, the college student next door had the good sense to recognize
there were more parts available than what I was using. Managing a pressure washer takes some
patience, and it doesn't move along the timeline one desires. In the end, what I found was that a pressure
washer was analogous to working with children.
was excited to take charge of the pressure washer and get the job done. What I soon discovered was the pressure
washer had a mind of its own. I suspect
this isn't too different than your child.
The other early thing that I learned is that this is dirty work; it is
best to be prepared because you will get dirty. Again, this is something analogous to
raising children; it isn't always smiles and roses.
the four-hour adventure I had with the pressure washer, I had plenty of time to
muse (this must be why Southern males so enjoy their pressure washers). I could hear two others in my neighborhood
while I had mine working. There was
time to ponder how pressure washers are like working with kids. When I got too close and decided to blast
away, most of the time the dirt came right back in my face, and I didn't
accomplish what I had intended.
However, when I was back with an angle that gave me some perspective, it
was easier to see what was going on, and I did get done what I wanted to
accomplish. I worked with college
students for 30 years. This conclusion
is the same as I would have with them, too -- close didn't achieve the desired
results, backing off and gaining perspective achieved results.
hours into the job, it was clear I wasn't going to get everything done I had hoped. I could only do part of what I needed to do,
because it was too much. I was trying
to eliminate years of growth. I had to
focus on the part that I could accomplish that day, returning later to work on
more of it. This is true of children
too; sometimes it is to make one point, give that time to soak in and then
return to continue to shape the outcome you hope.
years, I worked with parents who had college students that were a
challenge. Sometimes I met the parents
and thought, "nut didn't fall far from tree."
Other times, I met the parents who could not understand how the student
managed to get into so much trouble. They were often lovely people, and the
student bore no resemblance to them. In
both cases, the pressure washer was at work.
When there was too much pressure, the situation blew up and didn't
produce what was desired. But the
gentle, focused, systematic pressure that you pay attention to does often reap
my current work, I often have occasions to see parents at work. There's one in particular that stands
out. With the focus on bullying, this
girl reports she is bullied frequently.
Interestingly, I've never seen this girl bullied, but the mother is
aggressive about anyone speaking to the girl in a manner that she perceives as
bullying. I always wonder how well this
girl will adjust, since everyone has pressure in life. How you deal with the pressure plays into
how happy and content you will be. I
question the wisdom of always responding, rather than encouraging healthy
responses to the pressures of life.
deck isn't finished, despite a lot of work this weekend. Because of the nature of growth in the
South, it will never really be finished.
I will work on it again and focus on a different facet of the
project. But I have learned that
blasting away too close doesn't produce the desired results. Staying back, remaining focused, and
applying steady pressure from a distance does create the desired results.