Last weekend my sister and my niece, three year old Bizzy, came to stay with us for a few days. We had a good time just hanging out, chatting and watching the kids play. It's been several years since we've had someone that little living in our house so we sort of forgot some things, mainly how three year olds are the best people to keep your ego in check.
This visit Bizzy didn't bother with me to much, she was all about Uncle Awesome.
Mr. Awesome is a power lineman for the local hydro company. He is pretty proud of his career, as are most guys in this trade. I joke that they all have God complexes because they work so high off the ground and play with power, he says it's not a God complex it's just that they are all just that good.
So last Friday when Mr. Awesome came in the door, dressed in his grubby orange coveralls and Fire Resistant blue shirt and chore coat, Bizzy took one look at him and said, "You are a gas man?" Thinking that she meant that he worked for the natural gas side of the company, Mr. Awesome replied, "No, baby-girl, Uncle Awesome is a lineman. I climb poles."
"You work at co-op?" she asked. My sister burst out laughing and explained that Bizzy thought that Mr. Awesome pumped gas for a living. Deflated, Mr. Awesome said, "No Bizzy, Uncle Awesome does not work at the gas station." Bizzy took a step back from him, looked him up and down, wrinkled her nose and said, "You are very dirty," and walked away, completely unimpressed.
Fast forward a week to this morning, Mr. Awesome and I were leaving the house at the same time this morning and I mentioned to him that the van needs gas. Being the awesome guy that he is, he offered to follow me to the gas station and fill the van up for me.
I pulled up to the pump and rolled down my window as Mr. Awesome jumped out of his truck and walked over to the van. "Fill 'er up!" I joked. I watched him as he took the nozzle from the pump and started filling the tank,
"You know, " I said.
"Don't even say it!"
"I'm just saying, I can sort of see her point," I laugh.
He hung his head and started to laugh. This man who had just spent seventeen hours working through smoke and wind and snow at a barn fire, then patrolled miles of line in blizzard like conditions, this guy who went through four years of hardcore apprenticeship, years of roughneck on the job training and works in hazardous conditions daily looked down at himself, in his Hydro uniform, pumping gas and said, "Bizzy's right, I do look like a gas attendant."
There is nothing like the observations of a three-year old to humble you, give you perspective and make you laugh at yourself.