The Apprentice

Gavin has been interested for some time in understanding what a landscape architect does. Dennis knew that one of the dad’s we are acquainted with through the hockey league ran his own landscape architecture/landscape construction firm and asked this dad if there would be a job that Gavin could come see sometime. I though the best I could hope for him was that Mr. Dad might tell us we could swing by a local job he had. Dennis recieved an early morning phone call from Mr. Dad on Monday asking if Gavin would like to spend the day with him. Gavin could not get dressed fast enough and left with an apple in his pocket and a wallet full of lunch money. I was very surprised that this man would choose to spend the entire day chatting it up with my 9 year-old. He knew Gavin from around the hockey rink and playing a season of hockey with his daughter – but still, I think it’s a far cry to decide to take your time out and spend it with a kid you hardly know. I thought it was incredibly nice. Mr. Dad mentioned something about South Jersey and some nurseries on the way down the front steps! All I know is that my boy came home all beaming face and tired body in a dump truck around 4 p.m. Mr. Dad did not seem too worn out by what I know can be Gavin’s unending flurry of questions. He said Gavin “was great”. They both seemed truly happy. As far as I know, they spent hours in the truck, looked at some $1,000 evergreens, visited nurseries, and “scoped out” some other work. I have been getting little drips and drabs of info over the past couple days. Here is what I know so far: ~ There is John Deere Green and Catepillar Yellow. ~ Catepillar makes Peterbuilt engines. ~ Mr. Dad’s mom encouraged him to continue in college when he wanted to drop out and he discovered architecture. ~ Gavin has been sketching things on grid paper using rulers, protractors and french curves since Monday evening. ~ Gavin has explained to me *exactly* how a combustion engine works and what is meant by a “4 stroke engine”. I don’t think I get it entirely. ~ Bulldogs mean Mack. ~ The dump truck he rode home is was 13 tons – a ton is 2,000 lbs. (thanks) ~ Mr. Dad has a small engine plane pilots license. People often ask me if I am worried about my kid’s social skills since we are homeschooling. I am not. I watched Gavin leave today with a dad he had never had a full conversation with, and somehow come home with stories that are taking days to recount. You would have thought he had just returned from a great play-date they way he has carried on. I guess he did.

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