April Jeppson: School’s almost out and it’s time for summer

Published 8:45 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

People are mowing their lawns, and the schools are having their fun days so you know summer is almost here. The weather has been so back and forth, my mind hasn’t fully grasped that there are only a few days left of school.

April Jeppson

As my son was grabbing his backpack and heading out the door this morning, he came to a full stop. He mumbled something, put his bag down and pulled out two wooden items from it. He didn’t realize I was in the next room watching him as he yelled for me. He then proceeded to show me, with much delight, the items that he made in shop class this year.

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About a year ago I sat down with him at the kitchen table and helped him select his elective classes. Although we sat there for quite some time discussing the pros and cons of each option, I don’t remember him signing up for any woodworking classes. So when I saw the box and napkin holder that he made, I was happily surprised.

My father is a carpenter. My great uncles owned a lumber mill in my town. I enjoy the smell of sawdust and can appreciate the effort it takes to create something out of nothing. I made a lamp one year in school that looked like a pump for a well. It still works and is used nightly by my parents. How cool is that?

Anyway — I only got to look at this projects briefly as we were heading out to school, and yet I could see how smooth his napkin holder was. I also noticed the detailed work that he put into the box he made. I’m excited to talk to him more about his efforts. I want to ask him questions and listen to his stories. Let him brag a little on all that he learned.

I’ve been married for 19 years, and it’s only been recently that my husband has dabbled in woodworking. Like the rest of us, he had the quintessential shop class and I believe also learned a trick or two in Boy Scouts. This knowledge has been hiding in his brain for almost 20 years, and now he’s working on stuff weekly.

I really love stuff like this. Making bread from scratch, sewing, gardening, woodworking. These are life skills that everyone should know. You may never use it, but you are ready if you need to. There is comfort in knowing how to do certain things. I’d say there is a pretty big self esteem boost too.

I’m sure my children will bring home more items during these last few days of school. Art, writing projects, maybe even a math test or two that they forgot to bring home months ago. I’m excited to sit down with each of them and go over the highlights of the year. I’m really excited to not have to hurry up and get everyone out of the house before the bus leaves.

OK summer — I’m ready for you.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.