Enjoy Your Kids

Happy Father’s Day!  Oh wait, that was last week?  Well, I got to celebrate it this past weekend.  Last weekend was our younger son’s birthday (on Sunday) as was our wedding anniversary (12 years! Woot!).  The two things that made me a father were celebrated that same day, so we pushed back my celebration to this past weekend.  No complaints here.  It was great. 

One of the things I really enjoy doing as a father is building things for my kids.  Woodworking has been very therapeutic for me.  So when our older son came to me Friday with a request to build him the Red Power Ranger Sword, I went with it.  I have no idea where he saw or heard about this as he has never seen the show to my knowledge.  But there we have it.  Upon researching it, I saw there was a toy option out there.  I secretly hoped I could just buy one and save myself the time; however, the toy apparently is not made any more and the cheapest option is on Ebay for about $300.  No thanks. 

My son came out to the garage with me and we grabbed some wood and sketched out the design.  I prefer using pine fence posts because, 1) I have them in the garage right now and, 2) they are really light and easy to work with.  That way if a sword finds itself swinging into another person the damage dealt should be minimal.  Below is an image of the wood before cutting and post-cut into the design of the sword.  As you can see the board is pretty big, so it can be used for a lot of projects.  When our 4-year-old son heard what was happening, he of course needed one as well.

The tools used for this was pretty straight forward: a Band Saw, orbital sander, painters tape, personal protection (goggles, mask, and ear protection), and paint.  If you don’t have a band saw you could use a jigsaw or scroll saw as well.  We initially used painters tape to cover the hilt of the sword, allowing me to spray paint the blade with a pewter colored spray paint.  After that dried we went ahead and used leftover red paint in the garage to paint the cross guard and the pommel.  

The boys really wanted to help paint so they got to do the hilt with black.  Once this was dry it allowed me to do the “detail” work with gold paint.  I put detail in quotations because the quality is pretty average.  However, this is one of the reasons I love doing this with our boys.  They really don’t care how pristine this looks; as long as it is close to the original they are happy.  As parents we sometimes feel like we have to be perfect all the time with everything we do, however, our kids are not expecting that.  Our kids see us as Super Heroes, and even when we mess up they easily forgive us five minutes later.  We can definitely learn from our kids in this respect.  As we age we do a really good job holding onto grudges and struggle to forgive others.  We tend to internalize these negative emotions and overthink them, engraining them into our daily sense of wellbeing.  Kids don’t typically overthink these events, allowing them to forgive and forget – be more like your kids.  

The last thing to do was to design a T-rex image typical of the Red Ranger on the cross guard.  I had the size of a Nickel to work with.  I didn’t trust myself painting this on so I used an Ultrafine Sharpie.  My twin sister does awesome drawings utilizing a “negative” charcoal drawing effect, similar to the negative of film (you know, when people still used that with cameras). I essentially did the outline and background of the T-rex with black Sharpie and allowed the gold to come through. Luckily, I know my kids won’t mind how it looks, but my perfectionist side tried to take over.  I just need to keep reminding myself that my kids won’t mind either way.  They just want to play with them.  

One child wanted the original green dots on the cross guard. The other wanted red gem stones attached. At least we can tell them apart at this point.

Remember, our kids love when we do stuff related to their interests.  You may not be the crafty type, but findings ways to show your kids that you care about the things they like will bring about a lot more positive play time in the future with them.  What are some things you enjoy doing with your kids?  Feel free to comment below, and remember to subscribe!

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