Friday, April 30, 2010

A Man

First, they pull the grass. Daddy chops off long sideways roots of quack grass that reach into the garden. The children trail behind and gather armloads of clumpy sod, pile it in the wheelbarrow.

Jane pokes a fresh clump with her toe, "I think I need a MAN'S help." She looks around, and then gives the clod a little kick.

Daddy hacks another clean swipe at the garden's edge. He pauses, "Hey Jack, anytime someone says they need a MAN'S help, you should help them right away."

"Oh. Okay." He grabs Janie's clod and tosses it into the wheelbarrow. Jane grins.

Off to the left, another clump of grass, "I think I need a MAN," she looks around for Jack, "because I don't want to bend down and pick that up." She tries not to smile and raises her eyebrows. He slogs it into the wheelbarrow.

At the end of the garden they race back to Daddy. He saws open bags of coffee grounds and scatters long black stripes over the dirt. They wriggle their toes in it.

As daylight wanes we gather garden trowels and buckets, a pair of old blue gloves, and go inside. Jane pauses at the door, "Jack, I think I need a MAN. Will you close the door after Lulie comes in?"

"Yeah, I will." With a sideways grin he turns to wait for little sis, that same long-suffering streak of his father a badge of honor.


Lori said...

Just beautiful, friend. Jack's already such a gentleman! He will be such a hero and protector to his sisters - little and big!

Bon said...

Oh Bethany this is so sweet, I just love your little man! What a fantastic job you are doing. I love how Jane is giving him opportunities for "man practice". I look forward to meeting your children one day!

Daniel and Cerissa said...

Ha! I had to laugh at that girl. I could just see the scene in my mind's eye.
Jack will be a great man someday, with a strong daddy like Craig to lead :)

Goat said...

Let the men learn how to be men. Yes. This is good.

Ben and Rachelle said...

That little guy of yours is such a sweetheart - always has been...just think of how "manly" he will be with 3 sisters!

And Emma...I love how many of the things she says are so random...totally cracks me up!

Heather said...

Oh, this is just perfect :)
When's that baby coming?
I need a newborn-fix, even if I do have to get it from a blog :)

Adina said...

This post made me laugh. It's funny, but beautiful. I love to see a little boy learning what it means to be a man, and I love to see a father taking so seriously that job of teaching.