Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Not Just a Box

For weeks now, we've been hearing an almost nightly update on Dr. D's box. The box that he has been making in his Manufacturing class at school.

Think updated version of our old shop class in high school.
Add some high-tech tools and way-cool power equipment...
Yeah, I know. A workshop full of power tools and teen boys. Ugh.

It's gotten to be a bit of a joke, in that the moment conversation lulls in the slightest, Dr. D proceeds to share all the minute details of the progress he made that day on this box. Sometimes we even pause our other conversations just to see if he'll pick up the thread of that conversation again, long after we've moved on from it as the main topic.  We like to mess with each other that way.

I must admit that we were not taking him nearly as seriously as we ought to have been. I mean, we didn't really know we should be taking him more seriously, given that he kept saying, "It's not that big a deal, it's just a box" every time we questioned his progress reports or asked for a description as to what kind of box it would be.  He was more focused on telling us the funny and risky pranks some of his classmates would pull and the very laid-back responses the teacher would have to said boy behavior.

There is no way I would EVER be able to be a shop teacher
in a class full of high school boys. Sheesh, that man must have nerves of steel!

But it has been fun to hear how excited he was about the things he's been learning and how much he has enjoyed creating something with his own hands. Still, we were BLOWN.AWAY. when he walked in Thursday night bearing this beautiful piece of workmanship.

Routed raised panel top.
Beautiful cuts and joints.

The top opens to reveal a removable shallow tray.

Inside the box, the slats that hold the shallow tray
in place are also removable. 

Dr. D was poking a bit of fun at me as I was "ooooohing" and "aaaaahing" over his craftsmanship. I kept hitting his arm and saying "This is NOT just a box!"

As I was running my hands over it and listening again to all the details of skills he learned on the project, I just kept thinking of my grandfather. A master carpenter, my grandfather made many beautiful things like this over his lifetime. I have vivid memories of the smells and the sounds of his workroom in their basement in Methuen, listening to him singing while he worked (he favored great Italian tenors!) and seeing his handiwork all over their home and ours.

That's when Dr. D REALLY poked fun at me.... "Are you crying, Mom?"

He asks me this question often.
I have a tendency toward leaky eyes when I'm really happy.
Or proud. Or excited.....

"Yes, Dr. D. I am. Your great-grandfather would love this box. Smelling it and hearing you talk about the joints and the router and the planer reminds me of him. He was a great carpenter and a great man. He would love this box. He would be so proud of you right now."

It is not just a box.

Mom, this post is for you.
Grandpa would be so proud, wouldn't he?


Aus said...

Wow - you got me with this one - I know that pride...holding myself to the standard of making my parents proud of's such a pleasure when the kids do!!

I've said it before but i'll say it again - Dr. D is a son any dad would be proud to claim as his own.

Nice work boy - well done.

hugs - aus and co.

a Tonggu Momma said...

It's absolutely beautiful! My husband is a woodworker, too. He learned from his grandfather. It's a wondeeful, life-long hobby to have.