Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Mentor Comes out of the Woodwork

Jake has been interested in woodworking for some time. He got a set of tools for the holidays and thus far has cut down a dead tree and repaired a toy with them. He would really like to start designing and creating some projects, but woodworking is not one of Justin or my skills. Don’t get me wrong, I loved shop class and would love to build some great projects with wood, but we are lacking in tools and I’m lacking in time right now.

We brought the kids with us to Justin’s most recent General Surgery appointment with the approval of the surgeon. I mentioned needing to find a babysitter and he said to just bring the crew with us. So we did. Jake was really impressed with a wooden ship that was on a shelf in the doctor’s office. He got it down and showed it to Jake, telling him that he had designed and created it himself. Jake was very impressed and told him about his interest in woodworking. The doctor continued around the room showing Jake all of the items that he had created and told him about the furniture that he made in his shop at home. Needless to say, Jake was impressed.

It was then that an amazing thing happened. The doctor asked Jake if he would like to come to his shop and learn about woodworking. After looking over at Justin and I with a gleam in his eye, he exclaimed that he would love to. The doctor gave us his card with his home number and address on it and encouraged Justin to bring Jake over and that he would teach Jake about safety, design, and woodworking. Jake has been ecstatic the past 36 hours thinking about the possibilities.

I am a firm believer in the importance of mentors. I try everyday to set a good example for my children, but know that there are areas my children are interested in for which I do not have the adequate skills to assist in their development. For Jake that is woodworking and for Jolie that is art. Jolie has found a wonderful art teacher that, though I am paying her for classes, I feel Jolie looks up to as a mentor. Jake will now have the same opportunity.

If we lived closer, I’m sure that the kids would receive lots of mentorship from their grandparents, and aunts and uncles. Being a military family, most of the time we look to each other for mentorship and guidance. I am glad that the doctor was genuinely caring enough to give of himself to benefit my son. I look forward to watching their relationship grow over the next few years. As soon as Justin is feeling better, he is planning to take Jake over for his first “lesson.”

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