Wednesday was far too hot to work in the shed so young Sam and his sister missed out on their craft session with my father. They look forward to these once a fortnight sessions and so does he. Could they come Saturday instead? Giving up a Saturday afternoon to 'work' in the shed is no hardship at all. They can concentrate for two hours out there without difficulty. They are doing things.
Sam has been making a simple wooden plane. He has managed to learn quite a lot in the process. He is only six but he can hammer and nail and glue with the best of them despite being small and not having the best of eyesight. Yesterday he managed to learn to use my father's electronic calipers. He measured every small thing in sight while his sister and her mother went on making the wooden step-stool. (This will let the children stand safely at the sink and learn to cook.) Sam had to peer carefully at the little screen and I could hear him muttering away to himself. He is not a child who smiles very often but he seemed content.
When it came around to Sam's turn for help again they finished the plane. It was almost there last time. Then it was done. I was there at the precise moment. He looked up. He blinked and pushed his glasses up his nose again. He looked at the plane and back at all of us.
Very carefully he removes the plane from the bench and looks up at my father,
"Can we go and try it?"
The two of them go off to our small patch of lawn at the front of the house. They try. They make some minor adjustments and try again. More adjustments. Sam is looking a little anxious by now. Will it fly? My father shows him again. Then the plane leaves Sam's hand. It glides beautifully, smoothly. It goes almost three metres before landing quite gently on the grass. Sam runs over and picks it up as carefully as if it is a new born infant. His face creases into a grin that looks as if it will never end. "Look! I did it!"