Rakes. Photo by Katelyn Avery.
I was a normal kid by all means, but one thing that may sound strange is that I enjoyed most of my chores. I didn’t have to do anything gross like clean the bathroom, so I was up for any assigned task.
As a small child I received the pleasure of helping my Dad plant bulbs for my Grandma. I was three and enjoying the outdoors. Obviously I played a minuscule part, but I felt empowered. During the snow months I grabbed my child sized shovel and pitched in. My twin sister had a matching one. They had an orange plastic scoop with a wooden handle. The hefty duty metal shovel was off limits to small hands.
Snow covered patio. Photo by Katelyn Avery.
My sister and I felt like we were playing as we tossed snow from the patio to the yard. It wasn’t ice covered or anything, so it didn’t feel like real work. My Mom covered more area than us of course, and my Dad would be out snow plowing driveways.
The snow would eventually melt and southern Connecticut received a generous spring, summer and then fall. As the leaves turned real yard work fell into my lap. Raking the leaves was the best job a kid could have. Piles would build and finally I would take off into the air and plop into a bundle of leaves. The only bad part was when the end of the day came, and the leaves had to be bagged and placed at the curb for pickup.
My fourth grade class allowed me to partake in a new level of outdoor chores. Kids from different grades got to make a small garden together. Thankfully my science class was able to pitch in. It was the first time I needed gloves, which meant my thin blue winter gloves. We were provided with rakes and small yard work tools. The work was done promptly but with care. It was hard, but I remember thinking “This is so much fun”. I didn’t want to finish in a way. The final product was something I wanted to see of course, but I didn’t want to be stuck in the classroom again. One of my other prominent memories of the garden is how my spirit could be lifted just because school took place outside for a beautiful 30 minutes. The term work didn’t apply, because being outside is everything to a kid.