Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring is in the Air and Pain is in My Back

My sons are growing at an alarming rate. I'm sure every parent thinks that about their kids, but when the weather gets warmer and I start to think of how big they were the Spring and Summer of the previous year, that's when their growth really seems to be the most noticeable.

These days, I find myself trying to estimate how many more roller coasters are now in play with the inches they've grown while cooped up in the cold weather. I think their first upside down loop might be in order this Summer. I'm watching them swing a baseball bat and trying to decide if we can ride out the size they currently own one more year or if they need to upgrade to a longer, weightier model. The same goes for their gloves.

And, as I try to clean up the backyard a little so that they can get the fresh air their lungs have been yearning for all winter without fear of them tracking dog crap into the house, I'm not only beginning to notice how much more they can do this year from last year. I am also beginning to look forward to how much they'll be able to do in the coming years. As the pain in my knees and back sets in, I begin to think that very soon half of this yard work could be done by the very kids I'm doing it for.

I'm not in a hurry to have my sons start dating, rush them off to college or join the work force, but having them be just a little bigger, stronger and maybe mature enough to push the mower around the front lawn without having to worry about them losing any digits would be nice. I honestly would not mind if they were old enough to be trusted to spray the cracks in the patio with weed killer and not turn it into a toxic chemical squirt gun fight.

The more I think about the potential of it all, the easier I realize it would be to get the yard ready for Spring and keep the garage in order if I had two extra sets of hands to do the work. Two considerably younger backs to do some lifting would also be more than welcome.

But, like the potentially disastrous situations I've mentioned above, I can already picture what may result from entrusting them with such responsibilities at their current ages. Asking them to sort through old toys and decide which ones we can get rid of would only cause them to horde the previously forgotten, dusty toys in out of sight places about their bedroom. An attempt to have them help spread rocks around the garden would more than likely see one or both of them in the ER with rock battle injuries or at least a broken window. Should I ask them to paint anything, I ought to decide whether or not I would like to have the entire surface of whatever they are standing on while painting be the same color. Tree trimming would end up with me climbing up into the tree to try and get them down and subsequent call to the Fire Department to get us all down.

But I suppose I should just appreciate the ages they are. Before I know it, they'll be using my car, beating me at basketball without me letting them, stealing my beer and refusing to ask for the toys I want to play with on their birthdays and holidays. They'll probably want boring old money instead.

So here's to a little extra time of having to corral them onto the trampoline when I want to cut the grass in the backyard and having to go on dog poo recon missions half an hour before they come out to play. It's time that I can use wisely to stockpile Lego sets for the Dark Ages to come.

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