It was a funny day today.
After years of wishful thinking, we are finally having solar panels installed on our roof. We had to wait until we were able to bring down a bunch of huge trees, but now we are finally sunny enough to make it work.
We talked to a few companies, researched various systems and finally decided on NRG Solar. They have been incredibly helpful and supportive through the process; calling and emailing and explaining every step of the way.
Today I woke up and thought, “Yay! Today is the day when our solar will be installed!” We had arranged it for a day when I would be home to let the crew come in and out, as they needed to access our electrical panels, our attic and our internet router.
They arrived bright and early, and introduced themselves to us. One guy was very warm and friendly, telling me about his children and his pets. One was a young woman, very sweet and kind, who looked at my baby granddaughter and said, “We’re going to save the environment for you, honey!”
I loved showing Ellie a woman in a hardhat, climbing a ladder and using power tools.
And the third member of the crew was a tall, broad shouldered man with long dark hair and a big black beard that spread across his chest. He was more shy and quiet than his colleagues, shaking my hand, but coming and going the rest of the day without a word.
This afternoon I was sitting in my rocking chair, trying to soothe poor little Ellie to sleep while people were hammering, pounding and drilling on the roof. She was having a very hard time relaxing as you might imagine.
At one point, the bearded young man was up on a ladder, right outside the window where we sat. He was working to feed a long metal pipe into the attic. He word his white NRG hardhat, and had on dark glasses, but his thick black beard was clearly visible. My little Ellie looked out at him, and started to cry harder. She reached her hands out toward him. I didn’t think that he saw us, but I knew what she was thinking.
After a while, the young man climbed down from the ladder, and with my hand pressed to her ear, Ellie settled into sleep on my chest.
As the crew was leaving tonight, the friendly cheerful electrician came in to say goodbye. I thanked him for their hard work, and then I told him about Ellie. I said, “My granddaughter was staring at your friend as he worked outside the window.” Before I could explain, he answered me, “I know. He told me. He said that the baby was staring at him, and he’s sorry if he scared her.”
Wow! I suddenly pictured how he might see himself. As the mom of two tall, broad shouldered, bearded men, I understand that sometimes my sons are viewed as scary big men. I understand that they realize this fact.
But today, when the big bearded man was in our window, my little Ellie was thinking, “Daddy!!! I want you!”
Isn’t it funny that we so often see ourselves in a completely different light than the way in which we are seen?
How many times have I worried that everyone sees me as angry and rude, only to find out later that they described me as “strong and calm”? How many times have I felt like a big huge uncoordinated mess, and then figured out that I seemed pretty much in control of the situation?
I wonder how many times big bearded gentle men worry that they are scaring people, when really the people are thinking, “He looks like my Dad!” or “He reminds me of my son!”
I don’t know.
I just think that this was an interesting lesson today. Maybe we should trust each other a little bit more, and realize that the people around us are more insightful than we realize.
And babies are really good judges of character!