So we mowed the lawn yesterday. I say we because, in my family, it takes a village to mow a lawn. Klaryssia appointed herself picker-upper of the shorn grass; Andrew (the youngest) manned the rake; Kameron (my nine year-old who doesn't walk yet) kept a watchful eye on the mower - because he LOVES LOVES LOVES loud, noisy machines, like vacuums and motorcycles - and Kobi? My eight year old manikin head-loving son? Well, Kobi was dressed for church in his light-colored khakis, white kicks, and his snazzy button-up short-sleeved shirt. Not exactly yard work attire, but Kobi rolls like that. I expect that he will be one of those guys who sends his jeans to the dry cleaners so they get a good crease. Seriously, he folds his jammies BEFORE he puts them on. Really. I'm not kidding here.
Anyway, back to the lawn.
In a perfect world, I like to do this job during the week when the kids are in school. The reasons for that will become apparent. This time, however, I had a few complications. First of all, this is Seattle, and no matter what I say, it does rain a lot. So the challenge is, of course, to find a non-rainy day. It's helpful if this non-rainy day falls on a day when I actually am home in order to mow. Often, this is enough to keep me from mowing for weeks. A fact that bugs the HECK out of me.
So, the first chance I got, I dashed to the garage to whip out the mower. Unfortunately, I forgot that last summer my big awesome mower croaked. No funds to repair. Okay, so back-up mower. No gas. Okay, so I'll go get gas. No money. Hummm. This is delay numero dos.
A few days later, I had money and got the gas (well, actually I sent Kelsey to get the gas since she was over at the house for something). Unfortunately, it was late in the day, kids came home, homework, toileting (Kameron), blah blah - no mowing.
Next day. I am planning on working after I get the mowing done. It rained.
And so it goes until yesterday. It was Sunday, but we didn't go to church because little Andrew has yet another cold and the Swine Flu has everyone super-enforcing their sick policies, darn them. No sneaking him into the nursery, no church. And so, voila, mowing day.
One little problemo - all this rain and lack of mowing leads to. . . you guessed it! A very tall lawn! And, since it rained Saturday (see post below), it was long, wet grass. Kinda hard to mow in the first place. But hey, I'm freaking super-mom (ha), so we WILL mow this grass. My plan was to sneak out back while the boys were out front and get 'er done. Unfortunately, mowers are a little loud, and they are a lot curious. They were back there seconds after I got the mower going.
Next problemo: the mower has no grass catcher. The wet, long, grass proceeded to jam up the blade on the mower. Like on the very first pass. Stop, open the little hatch, pull all the cut grass out, set the blade free, pull the cord, start the mower up again. Next pass. . . sputters to a stop. Open the hatch, pull all the cut grass out, set the blade free, pull the cord, start the mower up again. I am not kidding, the mower got jammed every single pass. At one point, it didn't even make it that far.
Now, while I am quoting "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" in my mind, and sweating like a monkey (if they sweat), I have my four little "helpers" helping me.
Klaryssia is shouting over the mower at me (like I can hear), grabbing up the grass as I toss it out from the little hatch, and walking about two inches behind me. I can't hear her, so when I back up to try to free the blade, I knock her down. I lost track of how many times this happened.
Andrew is holding the rake, which is probably four times taller than him, and flailing about trying to rake up grass I haven't cut yet. He's also helping by knocking the heads off all the pretty white dandilion "flowers". Woo Hoo, he's planting future weeds for me.
Kobi starts out picking up some of the grass, gets bored, starts climbing on the steps to the gazebo and jumping off the rail. Right where I'm mowing. After I scream a few times, he gets the picture and helps by going off to ride his bike. Yay. One down. Meanwhile, Kameron (who I left in the front yard with a basketball), has managed to make his way through the side yard, over rocks and through natural hazards to appear in the back yard. The siren call of the mower was too much for him. I wasn't surprised.
Kameron joined Andrew and Klaryssia in their little huddle around me, and promptly declared that the rake was his. As you might expect, chaos ensued, I mowed on. I can't recall how long it took to finish the back yard - stopping every four or five seconds to clear the grass, frantically watching all around to ensure that the kids kept all their body parts intact, trying to get them the heck away from the mower. . . it was a mommie nightmare.
By the time I got to the front yard, they were bored - thank You, Jesus - and I got that part done pretty quickly. Of course, by then I was exhausted and thinking a tall glass of wine (cold and white) sounded awesome. Unfortunately, it was only around 11:00 am, and I decided I should wait a few more hours. Thankfully, the grass got cut, no one got seriously hurt (Kobi's white kicks got a little grass-stained, but what the heck), and one more Chore got crossed off my list for now.
That night, at dinner, I heard from them all what a good job I did, and what great helpers they were.
Indeed. Couldn't have done it without them.