Safety first…or not.
To say that Chuck loves playing in the shop with her dad is an understatement. Outfitted with her very own ear protection and much too big safety glasses, she could move mountains of fresh saw dust from one area of the shop to another for eternity. The dustpan and broom might be her favorite tools of the shop, and as most of the dust goes into the air maybe she should also be wearing a dust mask. In the shop, there are endless bits and pieces of screws and nails and things to be paranoid about that could keep a kid busy for days. Charlotte is confident with a drill and even more confident in her ability to “help.” Her eagerness to be a part of the process is incredibly endearing, even as it slows the process down tremendously. “I’ll get it, Daddy.” “I want to do it.” These are phrases of cooperation and self-assuredness that I hope we will always hear from her. She will someday grow up and tell her friends that she built the cabinets that will be be going into her room soon. I’m sure her father will correct her and remind her of all of the work he did to gut and refinish her room. The room that she will someday soon sleep and play in when it is finished. Chuckie is lucky to get to see her dad play and work in the shop…to participate in the building and making of spaces and things, some for pay, some for play, and some for utility. Play and work. Work and play. The distinction between the two is often an unfortunate result of adulthood. I hope that Chuckie never loses her playful curiousity and creative engagement in her work.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers