What We Want (Part Three)
Monday, March 30, 1987
It's Monday morning. Will, age 4, says his stomach hurts and he doesn't want to go to school. He loves his nursery school, so if he doesn't want to go, I pay attention.
My wife takes the other kids while I stay home with Will. Late last night we all returned from a whirlwind four-day trip. I'm happy to have time for unpacking and reorganizing my life.
Will goes down to the basement where I have a workshop. I hear hammering.
I check on him. He's nailing some pine from the scrap pile. He has to choke up on the hammer, but he's pretty good at it. "What are you making?" I ask.
A project means banging random scraps of wood together. "Okay. Let me know if you need any help."
I continue unpacking, settling back home.
After an hour, Will comes to me. "I'm ready to go to school now."
"How's your stomach?"
We all need that little bit of unpacking, settling back home. For Will, it involves working with his hands. That's home.
An hour late, we go to school.
(By the way, there's evidence that working with your hands sharpens your brain and your ability to learn. To read more - more, in fact, than you'll ever want to know - about the hand/learning connection, try this blog: Wisdom of the Hands.)
(Update: Lo and behold! No sooner do I publish this blog post than the New York Times writes an article about woodworking for kids.)