Last week was Spring Break so my seven year old sidekick was with me while I worked. They have an after hours program at her school (in full swing for the break), but she opted to hang with her Dad, which I knew would be fun. However, it was better than I expected. It's hard to explain how much I enjoy having her on the job site with me, but it is special beyond words. She practiced kicking soccer goals, shot baskets, rode her bike in the driveway, learned to rollerblade, and finished a pretty challenging chapter book without very many pictures (big milestone).
Now I don't want to overstate my daughter's activities as if she was just diligently doing all this stuff independently without any oversight by me. I was there making sure she was safe while I reminded her that once she got done she could have a snack or watch some of a DVD. Anyway, my current project was built in 1906. It's an old house that would have a ton of great stories to tell (I'm certain) if it could only talk. Here's an example/clue: My girl is curled up in one of the old chairs left behind by previous owners (They're too good to throw away and come in handy when someone needs a place to sit.) Anyway, she's playing with a coin, right. I noticed her handling/fiddling with it a few times as I checked on her. No big deal. Then I ask her where she got it. "I just found it," she said with a shrug as she kept most of her attention on her movie. At first I had thought it was a penny, then I got a better look and asked her to hand it over. "It's mine," she said. "Sure, fine, whatever," I said back. "Just let me look at it." It wasn't a penny. It felt thin and lighter than a modern U.S. dime, but similar in size and color. I could make out all the numbers and letters on each side. It's a Canadian nickel dated 1896. Very cool. Ten years older than the project house. I tried to take a pic, but it didn't turn out so you'll just have to take my word on this reported discovery.
We went to more than a few salvaged yards/warehouses as I am working on some items on my list that I need as soon as I spot them. I grabbed up a sweet cache of old wood flooring from The Sustainable Warehouse in Charleston, but struck out at the Sea Island Habitat for Humanity Restore on John's Island. The SIH4H is around the corner from the Angel Oak tree. "We're going to look at a tree?" my daughter asked skeptically like I was maybe joking. She was not excited. But this is a special tree. It's estimated to be between 400-600 years old. Almost twice as old as our country and was likely already growing when Christopher Columbus discovered America (or the Capital of Ohio. :)
The Angel Oak Tree
Along with that, I bought my little girl a hammer so she could practice driving in nails. I like to tell people she's in training to be my superintendent or project manager one day so she needs to practice the basics. She did good. She hit the wrong nail (thumb or finger) once or twice, but nothing serious. I have this small hammer I like to use for fine carpentry. It's no framing hammer, it's light and a little on the dainty side. Perfect for our first grader. I get a lot of ribbing when tradespeople see it on my job site because it's looks like a toy hammer. A subtle, "Nice hammer, Trent," is a typical remark. However, it does the job for the smaller stuff like little trim work and doesn't leave an impressionable dent like a framing hammer tends to do in the wrong hammerer's hands. So I told the guy at the store that I had to buy my daughter her own new hammer since I couldn't find mine (that I had somewhere) and he say's, "Well, now you'll find it." Sure enough, I came across that thing less than 72 hours later. Seriously. I hadn't seen that little tool for maybe a year and after I right it off as lost, it appears just like that sales guy in the store predicted. I'm not complaining. I'll need that small hammer soon enough.
My ring finger is still swollen. That's my
wedding band & my grandma's Gt. Dep.
Era wedding ring (that I've been keeping in a
safe place on my own finger til my girl is
old enough not to lose it.)
Finally, we had one trip to the emergency room together. Also nothing serious. No blood. I was doing some uninteresting yard work at the project house. Boring stuff. Easy. Well, I thought I got stuck by a thorn, it hurt a little and I pulled it out. The pain lingered and the finger started to swell up that night. I expected it to be better in the morning, but no. My daughter and I were bouncing around town the next day and it felt like it was getting worse. I was even more concerned because it was my ring finger and it was obvious that my (also uninteresting) bling was not helping. So we had a jeweler cut my rings off (which felt much better) and then cruised into the ER. It seems I got stung rather than stuck and had pulled out a stinger rather than a small thorn like I'd thought. The doctor says I trapped the insect venom in my finger and my rings kept it from dissipating into my hand and up my arm (which would have been better and easier to shake off.) So they wrote me a prescription, but four days later and my left hand is still pretty stiff, but improving for sure.
If you get the opportunity to take your child to work with you, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It was a great week.