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Parenting, Teaching

It takes longer now, but it is worth it

My Big Helper

I remember the days when I used to be able to wash the cars, mow the grass, blow off the driveway, change batteries, walk to the mailbox, and just about everything else, much faster than I can now.  No, it’s not because I have gotten older, or I’m not as good as I used to be.  It’s because I have a five-year old son.  He wants to do just about everything I am doing, or at least be wherever I am.  Which is very cool, because I know it won’t always be that way.  But at the same time, it can be frustrating, depending on what I am doing.  I have spent some time thinking about this over the past couple weeks and these are my thoughts.

First, I tried to think back to when I was a kid.  I tried to think specifically of when I was helping with things around the house.  It was easy to remember helping around the house because I did a lot of it.  I wasn’t given a choice when it came to housework, yard work, or whatever else might need work.  Which is how it should be because I learned so much from it.  In my pondering over my younger years I came across two memories that happened while outside doing chores.

On one of our outside work days, which was probably a Saturday after I had played soccer, Dad and I were out working.  I don’t specifically remember what we were doing, but I do recall that at some point a spontaneous tennis ball fight broke out.  My dad and I chased each other from the front to the back throwing tennis balls at each other.  We would hide and sneak up on each other, well mostly him sneaking up on me.  After 10 or so minutes Dad called it quits and we went back to working.  I don’t remember what we did that day but I do remember that while I was learning the value of hard work, my dad also took time out to do something he knew I would enjoy.

I have another similar story.  Once again I was out working in the backyard with my dad.  I don’t remember what we were doing but I had to go to the front to get something.  Once I had gotten what I was supposed to get I noticed our truck start to roll backwards every so slowly.  So I begin to yell for Dad to come help and then I did what every little kid in elementary school would do.  I got behind the truck and tried to keep it from rolling. I quickly realized that wasn’t going to work so I made another smart move and decided to hop up on the back bumper while I continued to yell for Dad.  I guess I figured if I couldn’t stop it at least I would ride with it.  Clearly I wasn’t old enough to know any better.  About the time I jumped up on the bumper my mom popped up from the driver seat and stopped the truck.  In all the truck rolled about two feet at a snail’s pace and I had no idea that mom was in the truck.  I am sure we all had a good laugh and then went back to doing what we were doing.

I tell you these stories because I am blessed to have a solid work ethic.  And I am fortunate that I know how to do a lot of things and fix a lot of things.  And that is because my parents took time to teach me.  Not only through instruction, but through their example and through allowing me to try things while they guided me.  Would it have been easier and faster for them to just have done it without me?  For sure when I was still young.  But they saw the value in teaching me.  So when Sawyer, and eventually Cohen, offers to help I will try my best to let them be a part of what I am doing.  Right now Sawyer can’t mow the grass or hang the Christmas lights.  But as he proved the other day he can blow off the driveway, pretty well I might add, and he loves to climb the ladder whenever I am using it.  I just hope one day my kids will look back and be thankful for what they know how to do, but also remember the fun we had along the way.

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