Why is it that strong-backed, able-bodied, WOULDJA LOOK AT THOSE BIG BICEPS COMING IN fifteen-year-olds don’t really enjoy the act of shoveling the driveway and patio after a good snowstorm? Hubs and I had sons, because we knew that they would be perfect for all of our shoveling / mowing / digging / catbox-scooping needs, and yet… it’s a chore on MY part to get the teenager up out of bed and outside in the dark, cold, early morning hours to clear the patio and driveway.
But the three year old?
He was up at o’-dark-thirty this morning, BEGGING to go out and shovel snow. “Is it time yet? I’ll get my boots! Can we shovel yet? Can I use the snowblower by myself? Dad, get up! It’s time to shovel snow!!!” Shoveling to Thing 2 is on the same level as Christmas and WE’RE HAVING CANDY BARS FOR DINNER. It’s exciting; it’s exhilarating; it’s something to wake up early for and get after. Although he works with as much enthusiasm as a Black Lab puppy swimming in the pond after a thrown ball, he tends to clear one spot nicely… and dump too much snow back into the spots he has already cleared.
This is why the fifteen-year-old is a bit handier for dark mornings when the snow has fallen all night, but he lacks the eagerness and unfiltered passion that his little brother has for this chore.
Thing 2 longs to be big enough to use the snowblower. He cheers and claps for Hubs, as Hubs plods along behind the enormous, gas-powered beast; he’s Hubs’ greatest fan club on mornings like today. He makes Hubs feel appreciated for the mundane task of clearing the driveway at 6:15 in the morning, as he yells out, “Good job, Daddy! You’re doing a good job!”
After thirty minutes of being outside before the sun came up this morning, Thing 2’s cheeks were cherry red. He was frozen clear through. His mittens were soaked. His eyelashes had snowflakes stuck to them. I’m not sure he could even feel his toes any longer.
And… he cried his heart out when it was time to come in, because there wasn’t any more snow left on the concrete to shovel. He loves the career of snow removal so much, it breaks his heart to finish the work.
The boy, however, was NOT brokenhearted and choked up about pushing all the snow out of the way for the day. I’d say that his excitement for HAVING IT DONE was on the same level as Thing 2’s excitement for LET’S GET OUT THERE AND SHOVEL, SHOVEL, SHOVEL FOR THE NEXT TWENTY-ONE HOURS!! WHO’S WITH ME ON THIS??!! Hubs and I are pretty sure that if we gave Thing 2 a shovel and told him to just dig and dig, he’d make a tunnel all the way to China before he stopped for a lunch break. Our preschooler would thrive in a career that involves shoveling.
(Well… shoveling and driving a John Deere combine.)
(Combines are every bit as good as an early morning spent moving snow out of the way.)
It’s really too bad that the enthusiasm of the preschooler, who spreads more snow around than he shovels out of the way, is wasted on the strong teenager, who is capable of doing the chore beautifully.
Sometimes life just isn’t fair.