My Mother Mowing

I almost thought I’d have nothing today, but while mowing the lawn on Monday I couldn’t help but think about how my mother could make anything – even mowing – fun. I don’t mean she made it fun for me to mow, rather she made it fun that she was mowing.

One house from my childhood had a very large backyard. This isn’t just the view of a child thinking everything is so big, I’ve been back to this house and verified the hugeness of the yard. Trust me, it’s big. This made mowing it take a long time. I’ve mentioned before, but my dad was always working multiple jobs (factories, pizza, photography, etc.) but my mother also worked, just fewer hours so she could spend time with us kiddos. So a few weeks might go by between mowings, which meant the grass would get kind of tall (not that us kiddos minded). The size of the yard was also a limiting factor, if mom was home then odds were good us kiddos were home, too. It was no simple matter to leave three small girls inside and unattended for the two hours (just guessing here based on my own lawn) it would take to mow the entire back yard. But my mother was (and still is) a very clever woman and she knew how to make anything fun.

When my mother would mow the lawn, we’d be outside with her. It let her keep an eye on us, but to keep us from getting bored she would mow “mazes”. From what I remember, she’d mow a line front and a line back, but to cross the lawn she would make zig-zag paths. I made a simple image below in case my explanation is lacking in detail. It shows just two passes, not much of a maze yet, but over time (and as some paths intersected each other) it would get more and more fun.


I’m sure this method also made it easier to take a break, once a few paths have been made she can sit back with some water and watch us kiddos race through the paths, making up games as we went along, before tackling the rest of the lawn. The yard was big enough to give us kiddos other things to do while waiting for the maze to be done and while waiting for the last of the mowing to be done. (We probably hung out either on a concrete block near the back of the house or in our tire swings, there was one for each of us since the backyard had three trees.) So strike down one victory for The Mom, with many more to follow.


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