Some workplaces have special days when parents can take their children to work with them. For some reason the company I work for doesn't have an official day to do this. I suppose it has something to do with falling debris, moving machines, and extremely loud noises. That is only naming a few of the hazards. I don't labor any more so I am not always in all of the dangers as much. I spend the great majority of my day behind the wheel of a 20,000 lb (when empty) truck delivering the tools so others can tear stuff up. Every so often I will have to go in at night to make a quick drop of tools. There have been a couple of times when I've made a single drop Jake has gone with me. I've just never taken him for more than a single run. But when he asked to go with me this past Saturday when I knew I had at least three runs and possibly an hour at the yard, I thought we might give it a try. He did awesome! He had hoped to watch me take down a wall and possibly help, but he wasn't too disappointed when it didn't happen.
We started the morning with an extra stop on the way in at 7-eleven to grab a donut and strawberry milk. When we got to the yard the questions began. What's a time clock? Why do you check the oil everyday? What does the oil do? But when I pulled the hood open to check the oil, . . . "Whooooooa! That's a huge engine!" I cleared out the passenger seat and gave him a place to sit. He got to watch me dump a load of steel from the cab. Which of course brought about more questions. Please don't go thinking I'm upset about the questions. I like the questions. I like him learning. Just with as quick as they come I wonder how much he hangs on to. But then he amazes me and brings it up later. He gets it.
Once we hit the road he was quiet, for the most part. There are a lot of things that a six year old can see from the cab of a big truck that he can't see from the back seat of a minivan. We dropped some tools off and picked some up. We talked about how concrete breakers work and how Bobcat skidsteers move. He asked what oxygen and acetylene tanks were for, and why I had to put so many chains on the machine when it was on my trailer.
When we got back to the yard he patiently waited until I unloaded everything and then loaded what I needed for Monday. One of the bosses showed up and needed some help getting a couple of things together so Jake began to explore. He started finding little things that fit in his pocket to bring home. Rocks are always finding their way home, but he even found little pieces from old power tools floating along the edge of the lot and put those away for safe keeping.
Just before leaving I had to load a bunch of small pipe into a dumpster with a Bobcat. Jake loved watching the machine. I had him waiting on a trailer to keep out of harms way while I was doing the loading. When I finished what I could with just the machine though, he hopped right down and helped me pick up the last few pieces of pipe by hand and put them in the bucket of the machine. That made me proud. We have men working for us that can't manage to figure out to do that even when they are told to. But my little guy got right down to help without me saying a word to him. I wasn't even going to have him help with it.
When all the pipe was cleaned up, it was time to put the machine away. He climbed up in my lap and I let him drive it into the building. It was a slow go with the throttle down, but he was grinning the whole way. I've got a slight feeling he enjoyed that part.
By the time we went home he actually looked as if he worked for us and finished a good days work, he was filthy. We washed up a little and headed home. It was a fun day, and he made it through the whole day without once asking when it was time to go home. Oh, I didn't tell you, the day started when I woke him up at five-thirty am. He jumped up and was ready to go. He made me proud!
Have you taken your kids to work? Did they get to learn lots as well? What are your stories?