A Modern Day Norman Rockwell Painting….

One of my husband’s numerous house projects took a giant leap towards completion over the weekend. When we bought our house five years ago, the landscaping consisted of wood chips scattered up to three feet away from the structure. We saw “potential.” That is a stupid word. Five years later, the area in front of the porch now has edging and is filled in with rock. Perfect for placing those garden orbs and some potted plant. It is amazing that this project got this far. I think it has more to do with a lack of planning than anything else. This project had been on the docket for a long time. Whenever he was ready to tackle it, something else came up, like a plugged up pipe in the basement that required jackhammering the concrete floor up, or a broken dishwasher, or mudjacking the patio (why did we buy this house again?), or a child with meningitis. This time, he said “I’m going to Menard’s, be back in a bit.” And he did. The back of the truck was filled with bags of rock, that black cover stuff that keeps weeds from growing (that is the actual technical term), and the edging bricks (and it was all on clearance! Yay for not doing this in the spring. Thanks haemophilus. Just kidding). After about three hours, the eyesore that was our front landscape was now something of substance.

The best part of this was the bright eyed, bushy tailed five year old who wanted so badly to help his daddy. His job, the most important one, was to hand daddy the stakes to hold down the black tarpy stuff (not the technical term). He had them sorted in groups of six with three pointing up, and three pointing down. Then he handed me the ones that I would give to him when he ran out. And he kept his eye on the other stakes lying on the ground–you know, in case they wandered off.

He was ready whenever his daddy needed a stake. Josh would hold out his hand for a new one, and Jake would oblige like he was passing surgical instruments during a heart transplant. He did this with gusto, and was so proud to help. After the black crap was in place and staked down, we left daddy to finish his project–hammering in the edging bricks required the use of words not appropriate for small ears. When it was all done, we went out to look at what seemingly took years to accomplish. And the most important piece of this puzzle was the black weedy thing, because that was where a little boy got to shine and help out his hero. When we walk to the car, he reminds us how he helped out with that part. Josh tells him it wouldn’t be like that without him.

My regret was not taking a picture to capture Jake’s eagerness to help his daddy. What I saw was a modern day Norman Rockwell painting. Too bad I can’t paint, and that this picture is only in my mind to enjoy.

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