School Projects – Family Tradition

I am going to share a little story that came back to me this week.  I assisted my daughter in a school project. Ok, so she came to me to seek professional advice and I have a contractural obligation to share my creative craziness with whomever will listen to me. This time it happened to be from my offspring. She needed to come up with a molecule project that looks like this….

Seems easy enough but cram that in with finals week and varsity basketball along with Christmas stuff this household is running on max capacity.  But when a school project is mentioned my artistic brain goes into full motion (I have a few friends who can confirm this). This got me thinking about some of my sweetest memories of growing up.  I wish I had pictures to accompany my stories but words will have to do.

In middle school I came home and said to my dad with a drawn face….”I have to build a Trojan horse and bring it in”.   I was thinking something fast and easy but when your dad is a engineering carpenter his mind works differently.  I think he incorporated every tool in his workshop and to make a long story short I rolled in (yes I said rolled in) a miniature wooden horse into school (#omg!).  Yes, I was quiet and awkward and who wants to draw attention to thick glasses and braces but why not roll in a Trojan horse.

Then every kid is given the egg/toothpick/string gig where you have to protect the egg and keep it from breaking.  Well, this is before the google days.  So on Monday my dad and I start gluing toothpicks in triangles (I had no idea why but he told me to).  Every day for a week I glued these things not knowing my dad’s vision.  Come Thursday night we are starting assembly and mom makes me go to bed to get some sleep.  My dad tirelestly assembled and went to work at 4:30 am with little sleep……I woke up to this GIANT TOOTHPICK ORB with an egg suspended with string in the inside. It was so big my mom had to drive me to school.  Keep in mind I am a girl back then who wants to draw little attention to herself and I have to walk into school with this!  There is no hiding it.

Again to shorten the story.  The egg contraptions were dropped from a variety of heights. 6′, the ceiling, bleachers, etc. and eggs were breaking one by one.  All but one……….and ultimately the science teacher dropped Tracy Weinzapfel’s from the roof of the school!  My nightmare had come true.  So upon leaving middle school when the awards were given out for “best eyes, mostly likely to succeed, etc.”  I got “Most Likely to Fly to the Moon in a Toothpick Space Craft”.  Thank you Dad.

Fast Forward to 2017 and through these years of projects.  When my kids come to me I channel my dad.  I cherish the moments. I feel lucky and know my days are numbered.  I come armed with glue guns, paints and anything to get the job done!  And when you daughter works side by side with you and posts this….

You are thankful.  You think back to your foundation and just hope that in years to come they will look back fondly like I do.  You look at your blistered fingers from the glue gun and hope she has an inkling of how much it meant to you that she came to you.

I thank my school friends who posted this on Facebook this week and reminded me……

At 47 I would gladly fly my toothpick spacecraft!  Not afraid to be me….be a Weinzapfel and pass it on.  It’s a Family Tradition!

and a little unknown fact………since I dropped those coke-bottled glasses I now get tons of compliments on my blue eyes.  I just had to wait it out and be comfortable in my own skin!  I would rather have my toothpick spacecraft any day!  Thanks Dad! ♥

Let go of the fantasy that you need permission to move forward with your life. – No one is going to give you the permission you need.  Don’t wait to be chosen or blessed by someone else.  The chosen and blessed ones choose and bless themselves, with heart-centered focus and consistent action.  Your life is YOUR choice!  Know this, choose wisely, and take action.”

8 thoughts on “School Projects – Family Tradition

  1. My Dad was EXACTLY like that. Do not tell a professional cabinetmaker that you need to row across a high school swimming pool in a balsa wood boat! Mine was completely fiberglassed, professionally, inside and out by my dad and I. I could have sailed it to Catalina, never mind the pool. They had to change the rules after mine. We did the egg thing, suspended in netting in a hollowed out styrofoam contraption, didn’t break. Did the catapault thing. He built me a working sextant for an explorers report in 5th grade. I had a real lyre you could tune built for some other report, probably about Greece. LOL… I helped with all of them, like you did, until my fingers bled, but I can’t believe any teacher ever thought for a minute that I made them myself. The best memories now! It seemed, when I was growing up, that my parents were always working, but they really stepped up to the plate whenever there was a school project. It was some of the best time I ever spent with them.

  2. Love this Tracy. Made me cry too. Guess I am missing my dad a bit. We always made things together even into adulthood. The last thing we made together was a framed Christmas tree made from vintage jewelry. It hung in my parents home until he passed away then mom gave it to me. It is hanging where I can see it everyday and reminds me that everyday growing up with him was like Christmas.

  3. Smiling. What a great post Tracy. AND… what a FABULOUS blob of blues and reds you two created! So so FUN!! You and your family are uniquely wonderful! Merry Christmas to you all. Xj.

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