This evening I did something I’ve never done before. I mowed the lawn! To most people that might not seem like a very big deal but to me it really is.
When I was a child, my father didn’t allow us to play in the yard while he was mowing. Perhaps lawnmowers were more dangerous in those days. I’m not sure but I do know that he was afraid that the mower might throw a rock and one of us would be injured. I’m not sure why this precaution on the part of a caring parent translated into a fear of lawnmowers for me but I was a timid child and it did. Then, many years ago, Richard tipped the mower a bit too much while cutting on a side hill and it did indeed throw a rock with such velocity that he suffered a deep gash in his knee requiring several stitches. That only served to validate my fear.
When our boys were old enough to start mowing, I feared that one of them would lose a hand or a foot or at very least, a toe to that dreadful machine. Knowing deep down that my feelings weren’t logical, however, and not wanting to handicap them with their mother’s foolish fears, I allowed them to go ahead and I’m pleased to report that to this day, they both have all their limbs and digits!
For years I said that if anything happened to Richard, I’d have to hire someone to cut the grass. At first, I was completely serious but as years went by I knew that this probably wasn’t really true. My fear was, however, a handy one to hang onto. After all, if I was afraid of the mower, I wouldn’t ever be expected to use it! Richard, sweet husband that he is, indulged me in this. In recent years, however, we laughed about the fact that I could operate huge tractors and combines but not a simple lawnmower!
Richard left yesterday to spend a week or so helping his brother put up silage. I didn’t go with him this year because I’m being treated for tendinitis in both shoulders and Fred’s machinery would be too hard on them. Before Richard left, I noticed that the grass was getting a bit long and asked him to show me how to start the mower. He cautioned me that I might not want to do that. It wasn’t my shoulders he was concerned about though. He laughingly reminded me that if I mowed the lawn once, I’d never be able to use fear as an excuse to get out of doing it again!
I know that had I asked him too or had he even just known that Richard was away, the kindly neighbour who mowed for us while we were on holiday would have happily come over with his gigantic John Deere ride on and done it for me. I actually wanted to do it myself though; to prove to myself that I had in fact overcome yet another one of my crazy fears. I doubt that my physiotherapist would be thrilled to know what I was up to but, hey, I iced my shoulders as soon as I was done and I feel good!