Building a Kid’s Toolbox - My Saturday at the Foothill Family Walk and Festival
It’s Saturday at the Foothill Family Walk and Festival, which is less of a Festival and more a random gathering of tables and a handful of businesses in a tiny exhibit section. I have come to support my youngest, who is performing with the Vault Dance Studio, who is also exhibiting. So while I wait for my daughter to do her solo on the tiny stage, I sit behind the table in the exhibit trying to sound like I know something (anything?) about dance to the people that come up to consider taking classes.
The Festival is being held in the parking lot of the Foothill Family Services building. It’s a pretty small lot, but in reality, there aren’t that many people here anyway. The Walk which was completed by perhaps 40 people, mostly made up of Board members, staff people, and their families, was just along the sidewalks on the local streets. It seems like they got all the elements of a real event together but forgot to tell anyone to come. I feel like sometimes there are things that require an expert to really make successful, and for whatever reason, they decided to skip that part. Perhaps they decided to just advertise the event to their staff and clients. Or perhaps they gave the project to a new person and told them to let people know. But, there is plenty of extra cake for those who are there, so that’s good.
Near the Vault booth is the Home Depot booth which is setup for their Kid’s Workshop. The kids are are making tiny, wooden tool boxes that have to be nailed together with small finishing nails. At any one time, there are 2 or 3 kids of different ages pounding away on their tool boxes, some with a lot more enthusiasm than you’d think was really required.
I say that but I always have to be careful. As much as I like to think of myself as “handy”, I’m really not. I can use a tape measure and I can put a picture without it falling down, but the moment I need to use a plumb line or a circular saw I’m usually out of my depth.
A little girl walked out of the Kids Workshop to the table next to me where her mom and little sister sit. Her father following her, carefully carrying a freshly painted toolbox. The toolbox is now multiple shades of uneven greens and browns in that gloopy acrylic paint that seems to be a necessary evil of all little kid projects. It’s almost like the manufacturers say “we’re going to make this cheap paint as thick as possible because we believe that you believe something is only painted when it is covered in multiple layers of colored slime”.
Anyway, the girl seems pretty happy with the result, but her little sister, probably less than 2yrs old starts a very insistent crowing, either angry that her sister made something and she hadn’t, or probably more likely, just that she wants to hold it. As it was still glistening wet, I think I understand why her parents won’t let her.
Eventually, the dad takes the little one away to other parts of the festival. I tell a woman that I have absolutely no idea what dance credentials the tap teacher has, but would be happy to have someone call her.
The little girl and mother leave the table, the mother holding the toolbox like it’s radioactive. And the sound of tiny hands pounding nails continues unabated.