Getting Started

mowlawnThis weekend it was time to start the mower. And a myriad of other projects—most of which were accomplished, as it was a hyper-productive Saturday.

But the mower was the hot priority. Partly because the lawn needs cutting, but mostly because there’s a bigger experience to be had with my kids. And the lawn mower is one of the vehicles for this.

For the past three years I’ve had the lawn cut by a service, but our kids are getting older—they’re five and seven now—and I want to make sure they don’t grow up with too privileged as well as miss out on some of life’s great simple lessons. So, for their sake and mine, I’m taking back the duties of yard maintenance this year.

Not just to try to remind them of the importance of regular upkeep and tasks by example, but so they can experience firsthand hard work and earn their allowance.

They don’t know it yet, but this is their year for “bag duty”, which involves emptying the lawn bag each time it gets full of grass clippings, as well as picking up rocks and sticks off the lawn before it’s cut and beautifying the lawn in other ways for which I have no shortage of ideas.

As a dad, I’m really excited for this and it’ll be a fun family activity and I think it’ll be fun to watch them grow and develop.

In fact, I can remember those days growing up well with all my senses—I can recall exactly the lawn mower and how dinged, dented, rusted, and ugly the old dark orange Sears mower looked with the wide 22” deck and the floppy side bag that I repeatedly told my dad didn’t function (it worked for probably a decade after I began telling him we needed a new one).

I remember exactly how it sounded when it started up (like cars, each one sounds a bit different and this was my first machine with an engine so I remember it particularly well). And I remember the combination smells of humid and sticky summer mornings, the burnt exhaust, and the crisp scent of freshly cut grass.

rascalsSaturday’s would often start with a morning run to the Tremont Bakery quite early—as the oldest I’d often be sent off on my bike to do the doughnut run (this was before I knew about Kefir), back by 7am in time to watch the black and white cartoon “Little Rascals.” And by 8am my favorite show came on.

The McLaughlin Group.

It really wasn’t my MOST favorite show (remember, this was the era of Dukes of Hazard, which would’ve taken top spot right behind CHiPs), but my dad watched it and I always joined. And I rather liked it in an odd sort of way.

mclaughlineAround 9am we’d start Saturday projects and it usually involved some part of the garage, always the lawn, and a few other things that needed to be done. The morning of projects would often extend into the early afternoon. Unless, of course, we had various sporting events in the morning and we’d trade our projects off until Saturday afternoon.

But regardless of when they started, I remember clearly how we started those projects as well how they ended.

Though I’d initiate somewhat willingly, maybe even cheerfully at times, the fact is that other days also started with a bit of a groan, maybe a tad bit rolling of the eyes, perhaps occasionally I’d mutter under my breath “well Danny’s parents don’t make him do this, he can watch cartoons until 11am.” When I began, my body and mind resisted the work, and especially at a young age.

Yet, I’d always end feeling different than when I started. I’d look around at the yard, seeing it freshly cut and looking great. All the grass clippings bagged and nicely stacked in the front lawn. Weeds pulled and trashed, and sometimes we would use these handheld non-motorized clippers that had the sharpness of kids safety scissors yet required the grip of Darth Vader to squeeze and operate so that the areas around the trees and bushes looked snappy as well.

And when we ended, I felt great. Satisfied. Accomplished. We all know the feeling.

Now that I’m a dad I know that part of the exercise I experienced was simply growing up and the duty of having chores, but the other part of it was very intentional. Not just so I could contribute to the family, but so that I could gain a lesson learned far more valuable than that. The value of work, accomplishment, and satisfaction of the results—whether it be a great looking lawn, personal satisfaction, a more fit and healthy body, a reward trip. It’s a lesson I’m so thankful to have learned and experienced, both personally as well as through observation of so many others, who start and work through a task–both the highs and the lows–to see an accomplishment at the end of it all. Even if it’s just cutting the lawn.

Those are great memories and lessons, some of which I’m excited my kids will get to experience this year. Rolling eyes and all.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless significant for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.