Saturday, June 19, 2004

I Hope This Lasts

My son is obsessed with mowing the lawn. Now, if he were strapping 15 year old, this would be great. I could show him how to fill the mower up with gas, check the oil, change the air filter and so on and then set him loose on the jungle that usually passes for my lawn. But he's only 2 and a half so I have a while to go before I can pass along the great Zen mysteries of lawn mowing. Not to mention getting myself out of 2-3 hours hard work every weekend!

Still, he loves mowing the lawn, even if he has to make believe....

He's fascinated by what I wear when I mow: old leather work gloves (my wife thinks they're disgusting, I think they've been worn enough that they're finally broken in and fit my hands perfectly), a straw hat (to protect my increasingly bare scalp) and a mask (though I don't usually suffer from allergies, cutting the grass seems to upset my respiratory system). When I don my mowing attire, he runs to the closet and digs out his winter mittens (the closest thing he has to my work gloves) and an old straw hat that's seen better days.

He usually stays inside and watches me intently from the windows while I mow the front yard. Whenever I look up he's there, and we wave to each other. Once I progress to the back yard, he goes out on our deck to watch the excitement. He started pushing his little child-size lawn chair around the deck, pretending that it was his own lawn mower. Finally, on his second birthday, we bought him a toy lawn mower, which he adores. Now he mows up on the deck with his mower while I struggle down on the ground with mine. That $13 lawn mower is probably his favorite toy.

Cutting the grass once a week is just not enough for my son. Hardly a day goes by, that he doesn't ask at least once if we can mow the lawn. I tell him no, the lawn doesn't need to be mowed or that we have to wait for the weekend. He's a bit disappointed, but most of the time he takes matters into his own little hands. He'll go to the closet, dig out his gloves and hat, and proceed to mow the carpet in the family room.

I know it's probably too much to ask, but I do hope this lasts. I hope he's still excited about lawn mowing when he's old enough to take over for the old man.

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