A Mother’s Day Epiphany (or What I learned from Captain America)

Yes, I just saw The Avengers and am somewhat fixated. But I really did learn something from Captain America!

You’re welcome.

For Mother’s Day, I wanted my family to help me in the yard. I’ve let it run to utter chaos and was too overwhelmed to even begin alone.

Weed city

And not only did I want help, but I wanted to be in charge. I wanted everyone to do the things that I saw as high priorities, without arguing, complaints, or even discussion. Due to the awesome powers that all Mother’s get on Mother’s Day, they agreed. But the situation was not without its challenges. My team consisted of:

  • My husband, who always has ideas about how he wants to do things
  • My teenage son, who hates weeding, bugs, and getting dirty unless he’s playing soccer
  • My 9-year-old, who freaks out at any task that he perceives as overwhelming

When we were getting ready to start, I could already hear the rumblings. “You know I hate weeding.” “I’m not doing that!” I had a moment of absolute dread that this would turn into a nasty struggle of trying to force children to work by threatening to take away their electronics. But then, I had a moment of inspiration! I remembered the scene in The Avengers when Captain America takes charge and gives everyone an assignment that’s perfectly suited to their talents (“Hulk…Smash.”)

So, I put my teenager in charge of mowing (no weeding involved!)

Yes, that’s his phone in his hand.

I put my younger son in charge of rolling the wheelbarrow around the yard picking up the weed piles. (I also gave him the job of supplying everyone with lemonade if they got thirsty.)

Rolling the wheelbarrow was fun!

I gave my husband a tasks that employed his organization skills and his muscle power (but forgot to take any pictures of him).

And I put myself in charge of weeding.

Lost in the dandelion jungle

The result? Several hours of uncomplaining cooperation from the entire family. This is a minor miracle. It was  an even better gift than a 2/3 weeded front yard.

No more dandelion jungle

Beautiful mow job!

Weed-free zones!

So, a big thank you for a fabulous mother’s day to my wonderful husband and sons!


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