This weekend, as per usual around here, was full of hard labor. Until our yard is complete, there will be many, many more weekends like those. However, some of the hardest labor was eased by the use of a skid steer we borrowed from my husband’s brother.
In the middle of our “leveling the ground” project, our youngest ran up to the skid steer and asked his father if he could drive it. I said nothing and wasn’t even surprised when my husband said yes. After watching my oldest child drive the tractor on the farm since he was eight years old, letting our youngest drive a different piece of heavy equipment at twelve wasn’t even shocking.
This is probably my husband’s greatest gift to our children. His endless patience with our children allows them to try all kinds of things, even scary, deadly things like saws and other power tools. Yes, their initial attempts often mean mistakes. Mistakes that could be avoided if my husband would just do it himself, but he won’t. It’s in those moments I have to remind myself that nobody can really learn anything just by watching. And when I think about all the things my children have actually learned to do on their own–change oil in a car, wire and electrical plug, shovel with some mad skills–I can see the proof that my husband’s do-it-for-yourself approach has been a very wise one.