Thursday, May 22, 2014

My heroic day of lawn mowing...

Ahhh… Spring. The snow has melted away and behold… Grass!

Grass…? Oh dear. Time to face that mower...

Last year, upon moving to PEI, there was quite a bit of drama around cutting my grass. It seemed to be of utmost priority to my fellow Islanders, but was WAY down the list for me. That was Lynn's job. I was moving into a new house, being a single mom to two traumatized daughters (and 5 baby kittens…), lost at sea in the foreign waters of finances and real estate… and had just left the home and church family where Lynn and I had shared our lives together. REALLY?? Is the length of my grass really that important?? I just didn't get it.

Fortunately, I had kind family members, sometimes neighbours, who would mow my lawn for me when they could. But by the end of the summer, I was feeling a little defensive. Well, certainly I CAN mow my own lawn. Naturally… I just have too much else on my plate right now. And who would watch the kids? And when would I make the time between all the other errands and to dos??? But, I couldn't escape the fact that, "normal people" seem to mow their own lawns.

So the snow melted and spring arrived and with it, a new/old challenge. I'm not going to lie... My pride was at stake! There is no excuse this year. I am now "supposed" to be a normal functioning single mom… I cannot accept the embarrassing defeat of not mowing my lawn!! I pulled out Lynn's old push mower... I do something with the choke…? Push this handle down…? Now pull to start the engine… Pull once. Pull twice. A half-hearted third… There's no way I can start this old clunker! I don't know if I'm doing it right and I'm probably just not strong enough!!!

I left the mower where it was, walked inside, and sat down in pathetic defeat.

Mom?! What are you doing? Alea asked.
Well, I was going to mow the lawn, Hun, but I can't get it started. 
Of course, you can! she chimed.
Honey, I'm not strong enough. I need a man. 
Well, we don't have a man. 
Yes, honey, I know. 
Then, I'll do it. 

Alea, a bundle of confidence and tenderness towards her mother, waltzes out to that mower without a single doubt in her mind that we'd get it going. She started to pull on the handle. Here, honey, I'll show you how. I think you do this, and then this, and then you have to pull this really hard and fast… See…

To my very own amazement, I started the lawn mower with ease :) I had genuine glee and delight! But the best part, was the awe and amazement in my daughter's big (humongous actually), blue eyes. Mom!! You did it!!! You're so strong!!! You're my hero!!!!

Of course, I knew that it was perfectly normal for a human being, male or female, to mow their own lawn. There was no great achievement here… But still, I revelled in Alea's pride. :) I drank in her encouragement.

I mowed the front lawn, all the while remembering Lynn, thinking how appalled he'd be at the job I was doing. :) He was quite meticulous with his lawn mowing… But how proud he would be all the same. A couple walked by and I both cringed and laughed inside. I smiled and waved, looking as natural as possible, thinking, Please don't notice that this is my very first time ever mowing my lawn!!!

As in most things, there is a mingling of joy and sorrow. I was happy to be where I was, out in the sunshine, finally, after a long winter, overlooking the sparkling blue ocean, with my 4 yr old as my biggest fan :). But, still carrying the deep sadness that comes with every change, every new day, every first, second, third… Lynn died. And that will never make sense.

But at least I can mow my own lawn. And my 4 year old thinks I'm her hero. :)


  1. you are a hero... to her, to many.

  2. You're so awesome! This is the best story ever. Is it bad that I told John I'd take on the task of mowing OUR lawn this year and I've not done it yet because I'm not sure how to work the mower but don't want to ask for help? I'm gonna tackle that beast this week because you've inspired me! You're my hero too!

  3. This has to be one of my all-time favourite blogs you've written! Shannon's got it-you are a hero :)