Engines, Muscles, and Spending Time with Dad

I remove the engine from Callum’s old ute. It’s no longer needed. “I’m going to fit a bigger more powerful one,” my second son tells me. 

So he goes on a search and finds just the engine he’s looking for. “It needs a bit of work, Mum, but it’s going to be fantastic!”

The new engine sits on our driveway for a few weeks, and then one day Callum says, “You want to help me work on my engine, Dad?”

“Go on,” I encourage. “You two men will enjoy working together.”

Andy and Callum spend a day outside in the sun, tinkering and chatting. Late afternoon they reappear with huge grins on their faces. (They’re a bit sunburnt too.)

“It’s in great working order,” announces Andy.

“You should see it, Mum!”

So I go outside to admire the engine.

“That’s OUR engine, Mum,” says Callum proudly. “That’s Dad’s and my engine.”

“OUR engine?” I ask.

“Well, Dad did just as much work on it as me. He’s pretty good at mechanics.”

“Dad has been working on cars a long time…”

Just before dinner Callum says to Andy, “Do you want to come to the gym with me, Dad?”

Andy looks a bit unsure so I say, “Go on! You’ll enjoy working out together.”

So the men put on their work-out gear and head off to the gym. They return a couple of hours later with huge grins on their faces.

“You should have seen Dad,” says Callum. “You should have seen the weights he was lifting.”

“Well, I’m not an old man yet!” says Andy.

“Nah! Lots of older and less fit men at the gym than you, Dad!” Then he adds, “I’ll get you a copy of my training program. We should work out together all the time.”

“Okay,” agrees Andy, “but I’m not going to drink your protein shakes.” He grimaces. “They taste awful.”

Later that night, Andy groans. His muscles feel sore. He gingerly lifts his arms. “I have muscles I didn’t realise I had. All that work on the engine and then the gym…”

Callum grins. “You don’t have to use those muscles tomorrow, Dad. Tomorrow’s lower body day.”

“You’ll come home from the gym with sore legs instead,” I predict.

“Silly idea working on engines and going to the gym!” Andy moans. “Too old for all that.”

But it wasn’t a silly idea at all. Kids, even adult ones, love doing things with their parents. 

“Hey Dad! Now our engine’s in working order, when shall we put it into the ute?”

“Can’t you do that bit?” asks Andy.

“Well, it is our engine, Dad!”

Don’t you just love watching fathers and sons spending time together, sharing their skills and enjoying each other’s company? I do.

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  1. Reply

    My husband and 13 year old son both love skateboarding. When it's warm out (definitely not now!) they're at the skate park every.single.day. When our oldest was still living at home (he's 20), he used to go, too. I love seeing the bonding happen that is sometimes not as easy as mother/daughter bonding.

    1. Reply


      Oh I love that picture of your sons skateboarding with their dad! I think you're so right about father/son bonding being different from mother/daughter bonding. I know my husband prefers to be doing something with the boys rather than just chatting over coffee, which is something I often do with my older girls. Men seem to need to have their hands busy while they share.

      I was thinking about the movie "Courageous". Did you ever see that? The teenage son really wanted his dad to go running with him. The father wasn't keen and made various excuses never to go. Later he saw how important running was to his son and how much he wanted to share that time with his dad, and when he made the decision to put on his running shoes, their whole relationship with each other changed. I must hunt out that DVD and watch it again!

  2. Reply

    It is amazing to watch! My oldest is working on his physical fitness badge, one of the last two badges he needs to become an Eagle Scout. Eric is teaching him weightlifting, something Eric always loved but hasn't had time to do for years.

    It really is a different relationship with sons and fathers. Beautiful to see our sons grow more like the men we love!

    1. Reply


      It sounds like your men like spending time with each other too. "Beautiful to see our sons grow more like the men we love!" Oh yes! I can see so much of my husband in my sons. It's good to see they want to be like him. There is no greater compliment.

      Weightlifting? It's very interesting watching Andy and Callum competing with each other. They wouldn't own up to being competitive but they take notice of what weights they each can lift! It's all very friendly though.

      I don't know anything about Eagle Scouts. I wonder how they differ from the regular scouts.

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