Sunday, March 04, 2007

Doing things Dan's way

Dan & Gary went off Home Depot for the kids' workshop and came home with a butterfly house, made by Dan! Until butterfly season, Dan's using it as a mailbox outside the door to his bedroom. The top slides open so that you can put a treat -- a banana peel or maybe a cut orange -- to attract butterflies to the house, where they'll find your flowers or garden instead. Maybe his butterflies will help out in my herb garden!

Gary related a bit of what happened, and I want to share it here because it brightened my day.

The workshop had several kids, each with a parent. Across the table from Gary & Dan was a Dad with his daughter. Gary described that Dad as the 'Boy Scout Soapbox Derby' kinda Dad - follow all the rules, make sure your kid turns out a project that's 'right' and does it the right way. Lots of unsolicited advice, too.

When they opened up the kit, Dan chose to put his nails in the safety goggles Home Depot provided, so the nails wouldn't roll away while he worked. The Dad across the table said, "You're supposed to wear the goggles -- to protect your eyes." Right, because Gary & Dan might not know what goggles are. Gary replied, "We know they're goggles. Dan decided he'd rather use them to keep his nails from rolling off the table." and went on assisting Dan with his butterfly house.

The table was too tall for most of the kids, so Dan and a few others kids moved to the floor to work. "Rules" Dad and his daughter stayed at the table -- that's where you're supposed to work - even tho it meant the girl was hammering at shoulder-level.

I loved hearing how Gary supported Dan's choice to work with the tools his way. He didn't insist Dan use the safety goggles. If they'd been doing something really dangerous, say drilling, Gary would have encouraged Dan to wear his goggles, and it would have made sense to use them, but for simply nailing into a board, the goggles were more useful -- to Dan -- as a nailpan.

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