Being Helpful

August 15th, 2011

After a couple of recent storms, we had some large branches down in our yard. Today was a new milestone: it was the first time out boys helped me clean up storm damage.

We all trooped outside, and for a minute, the boys kind of ran around while I found a saw. We needed to saw off a few branches that were down but still connected. I did one. Jacob wanted to try, but it was a little too hard. But on the second one, which went a little easier, he helped out and with my guidance actually did some sawing. He was very proud of his work.

Then we got into the pickup — always a highlight for the boys, even if we only drove it around on the yard. I brought it up close and started loading brush onto it. Jacob went around finding whatever pieces of wood he could carry, and happily threw them onto the pickup.

Oliver, on the other hand, meticulously picked up smaller pieces of wood and carefully set them on the rear tire — then shoved them off the back. This really annoyed Jacob because Oliver wasn’t doing it right, so Jacob kept trying to find the wood Oliver was dropping. And then, of course, they got to play in the pickup bed.

Next it was off to the brush pile (also on our yard) to unload our 5ft high pile. I got the really heavy stuff mostly off. I told the boys they could throw whatever they wanted off the pickup. Jacob threw things onto the brush pile, and Oliver, who doesn’t really have any aim yet, just threw things and enjoyed trying to figure out where they went. But the big highlight came when the boys got to sit in the back while I pulled the truck a few feet forward and the rest of the brush just fell off the end “all by itself”!

I complimented both of them on their good work – they both really did contribute. Terah commented that when they came in, they both kind of strutted in, looking very tall, proud, and like they did some Good Work with their dad. And later, when Terah said to Oliver, “Dad tells me that you were very helpful, Oliver,” Jacob overheard and came running in to say, “I was very helpful too!”

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  1. Ross Reedstrom

    I had almost the exact same experience 3 years ago, after hurricane Ike hit Houston. We called it “God’s Pruning” so many trees and branches down. My two boys (then 2 and 4) were very proud to help Mom and Dad pile branches on the curb. The tiny actual-steel “toy” wheelbarrow we have is surprisingly useful.

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