The Sodbuster’s Apprentice

This summer, for the first time in many years, Bill isn’t mowing our lawn himself. He had a lawn service mow for a number of years when we first moved into the house. It made sense because he worked full time, as did I. Our lawn is big and takes quite a while to mow. He could think of better things to do with his weekends.

But once he retired – well, semi-retired at any rate – it occurred to him one day that it made no sense to go to a gym and walk on a treadmill when he could be walking around the yard with a lawn mower. Hence, he began mowing himself.

But this summer, as my readers know, he is working on the family room remodel. Working and working and working. So when our granddaughter Adelaide came around sniffing for work that paid cash money, I persuaded him to turn over the gas can, as it were. So every Sunday, like clockwork, Addie has come and mowed the lawn without complaint. She is paid twenty-five bucks and any ice cream she can find in our freezer, and she can almost always find some.  In fact, the reality of ice cream being in the freezer is more certain than Nana remembering to get cash to pay her. Don’t fret, y’all. I am current with my payment and she doesn’t charge a late fee.

But yesterday, when the doorbell rang, I answered it to find both Addie and Dagny standing with smiles on their faces. Hi Nana, they said. We came to mow your lawn. Wait, what?

The two of them traipsed back to the shed, accompanied by Papa to ensure that there were no foxes or raccoons to attack them. (Because, yes, yesterday morning there was a raccoon on our patio looking for food. We are used to the foxes, who have returned in full force. But we haven’t seen a raccoon in our back yard for probably 20 years. Our backyard animal kingdom is starting to make the squirrels look good, though admittedly the squirrels have made themselves scarce since the return of the foxes.)

I presumed Dagny would sit on the patio drinking tonic water (her beverage of choice at my house; go figure) and playing with the iPad. But pretty soon, Bill announced that Addie had an apprentice. And sure enough, Addie had Dagny doing the mowing while she gave instructions.

It was seriously like watching a combination of Tom Sawyer and General Patton. Mowing is so much fun, you should try it, and DO WHAT I SAY …

I’m not one much for placing a lot of value on birth order. I believe there are too many elements that can influence the nature v. nurture theory. Gender, years between children, only boy or only girl, etc. But there are definitely traits that first-borns have — i.e. perfectionist, natural leader, ambitious, — and Addie has them all. If the United States is in the unfortunate position that there has not yet been a woman president by time Adelaide Grace turns 35, I assure you she will fill that role.

When the lawn was mowed, the mower was back where it belonged, and the gate was locked up, I informed the two girls that I had a twenty dollar bill and a five dollar bill, which I would give to Addie and trust that she would make it right with Dagny.

Addie’s going to give me ten dollars, Dagny informed me.

Now, I believe strongly in our Capitalist system – what the market will bear, and all that jazz. But the deal Addie struck with her sister reminded me of a blog post I wrote In June of 2014. Still, I zipped my lip because Dagny seemed happy as a clam. And to be fair, though Dagny did much of the work, Addie did teach her the ropes and did stick with her throughout the lawn mowing experience. And it’s only fair that the teacher earns more than the student.

And, of course, there’s that ice cream in the freezer.

This post linked to Grand Social.