Thursday, August 2, 2012

There is a New Kid at Our House

He looks just like the other eleven year old,
the one that lived here last week,
but instead of whining about being bored
this kid pesters me for paying yard work.
He has already weeded the corner garden bed
taken up a career in invasive mint abatement
washed all the main floor windows
and cleared fallen twigs from the south yard.
So, today we dragged out the red gas mower
and commenced power tool training.
No sandals, put on your boots!
Gas goes here, check oil there, 
set the choke like this.
Hold down the red bar, 
grab the black tee handle
PULL! ... PULL! ...PULL!
OK, let me pull.
Pu...pu...PULL!  Brrraaaahhhhhhhhh!
The vibrations runs up both of our arms,
mine around him from behind,
I try not to step on his heels
as we stumble along together
him learning, me relearning,
to operate this growling, grass eating beast.
It’s really too heavy for him to push
but using the power drive to the wheels
makes it hard for him to control.
Back and forth and around in the heat
(thank goodness for the overcast!)
Once I do the fiddly bits you get 
in a country yard, 
odd shapes around woodpiles, 
parked snowmachines
flower beds and a huge trampoline,
he practices turning corners, 
emptying the grass bag
and overlapping swaths 
in the central rectangle.
Then, that’s enough. We quit.
Neither of us want to tackle the bits 
around the garden and back of the house.
We’ll leave the rest for the grown men.
I don’t want to discourage the new kid
but I’m thinking 
next summer will be soon enough
for him to try mastering the mower.
We’ll find other work for Mr. Motivated.  
It’s not like we are running out 
of weeds to pull!

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