Fathers and Lawnmowers


Old Mower


I got a new lawnmower for Father’s Day!. Could anything be more cliché?

My EC knew that I wanted one, and gave me the thumbs up yesterday. I was out the door to Sears, with two of my sons in tow – they actually volunteered to come with me. The best part was their fascination with an old-school push mower on display. I got to tell them about my travails of pushing a lawnmower up and down the hills of my childhood home. (Uphill, both ways, etc.)  I picked out my new mower, and we were back, lickety-split, with our new addition.

Let me tell you about my old mower. It was old, battered and abused. I diagrammed some of its woes:

Old mower problemsIt was a menace. Now you might wondering why it was MY problem.  A very good question, considering I have four able-bodied sons. Even so, I found myself mowing the lawn more often than not. To explain, I need to go back a few years, to an easier time…

We used to have a lawn service. Every week they would come and mow and edge our lawn. They did a great job, and the lawn always looked well-maintained.  It was so eeeeasy.

Then something happened: I remembered that I love my sons. So I fired the lawn service, and put the FOMLs to work.

It was great in theory, but as the years went on, and the boys got older and busier, it seemed more and more often that I would find myself out mowing the lawn, instead of them. (I actually enjoy the process – it is a great time to think.)

The ever-deteriorating condition of the mower didn’t help matters either. The faulty grass-catcher turned mowing the lawn into an asthma-fest, one of my boys always managed to electrocute himself when he pulled the cap off the spark plug, and starting the mower almost required physical therapy. It just got progressively harder to mow the lawn, and I became more reluctant to insist – so I stepped in and did it, rather than fight the battles.

That is why I needed a new lawn mower. Here it is:

New Mower

Ain’t she purty?

As soon as I got home, one of my sons volunteered to take it out o the box and assemble it.  He did a great job. Then I showed him how it worked, with the new bells and whistles. He immediately started it up and mowed the entire front lawn. Another son then mowed most of the back yard. I actually had to stop him so I could take the new mower for a test drive. It was awesome.

One of my other sons proffered that he would be happy to help, now that we have a “mower that doesn’t stink.”

I told him that I was glad, because that is what I expect.

It is now very possible that I won’t be mowing the lawn for a while.

As I was thinking about how the most-hated chore had turned around, a thought came to me:

All I needed to do was to equip my kids with the proper tools, teach them what to do, and let them know what is expected of them – then send them out to take on the task.

And that, my friends, is “fatherhood” in a nutshell.

Happy Father’s Day!

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  1. Sweet MMM!! Congrats on the new mower! Isn’t it amazing what the proper tools will do to motivate one to ‘take on the task’? When it isn’t such a difficult process to begin and continue, we do a better job of maintenance. We had the same issues with the vacuum! (I think we will be replacing the carpet soon also, and that will probably also help!) Happy Father’s Day!!!

    PS…..LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your annual ‘Hug a Convert’ series! Thanks again!

  2. As an electrician’s wife, I will have to tease you that you can get a “shock” pulling the cap off the spark plug but you aren’t electrocuted. Electrocution is “death by electricity”. I hope your son is still alive! My husband corrected me on that one years ago. Just semantics, I know, but it made me smile. P.S. I love this blog!

  3. Thank you so much for being willing to throw your foibles out to the world. And enjoy watching that new lawn mower be followed around the yard by your sons. Can one come to my house and mow mine?

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