A recent thread popped up on a woodworking forum about passing on your woodworking legacy to your children. Lots of people said that their kids weren’t interested and it was a real shame.
Why does it matter if your children follow in your footsteps in everything you do? I have never understood that.My kids have zero interest in woodworking, or in fact, in many things that I enjoy doing. But I don’t enjoy doing them because I think I have to pass on my interests, I enjoy them because I have a good time engaged in that activity.
I think I wrote a post about the same thing among stamp collectors a while back, where people were really concerned what would happen to their stamps when they were gone. Me? I don’t care. I don’t care if you burn my collection when I’m dead. I didn’t put it together as an investment, I did it because it was fun. The same is true of woodworking. I don’t do it because I want my family to make a mint selling my tools, let them rust for all I care. I did it because it was fun to do at the time.
I really don’t get people who think that their collection or hobby only has any validity if they can keep it going in posterity. That there can only be enjoyment if they have someone to share it with. Woodworking, like stamp collecting, is primarily a solo activity. You go out into a shop with a bunch of tools and wood and make something. It might be fun to have other people with similar interests to trade stories with and ask questions of, but it doesn’t have to be. I never have anyone in my shop but me. If I want to talk to other woodworkers, I have online forums. There is supposedly a local woodworker’s club, but I’ve never been or even seriously thought of going. It’s just not what I’m interested in.
So what do you think? Do you think that you have to pass on your hobbies in order for them to have any validity? Do you care if your children do what you’ve done? Does it matter to you and if so, why? Let me know in the comments.