Talking about parenting: When you are raising kids, not grass

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Chris Kovatch

As a child, yardwork was my nemesis. 

I was not a fan of the outdoors, the heat, and the responsibility of that specific chore. As an adult, I have gotten to a point where I enjoy it. I don’t know if it is because if gives me solo time to just think or a sense of pride in my home, but regardless of the reason I like to do it.

Over the past several weeks, I have been recovering from surgery and it is a challenge for me to stay hydrated. 

I knew my yard was beginning to look like the Amazon, which is not something I was happy about, and so I planned to begin yard work on Saturday of last week. I had my water handy and began with weed eating and trimming some shrubs. 

After about 45 minutes I begin to feel lightheaded and so I retreated to my shop and sat down in front of the shop fan to take a break and cool off. 

And then it hit me. I was dizzy and nauseous. It took me about 20 minutes to get back to feeling normal. 

I think this episode must have shocked the kids who were outside with me. Jackson ran to get me a cold towel and Rosie corralled the younger kiddos. Jackson and Rosie both volunteered to mow portions of the front yard for me without me asking. 

Let me repeat that… without me asking. 

That was a shocking and pleasant surprise for me.

Each of the kids have their own chores but I haven’t tried to hand off yard work on a regular basis to them probably because I like to do it and I am extremely particular on how it is done. 

However, my episode this weekend led me to realize that they are more they capable and willing to lend a hand. 

At the end of the day if the yard isn’t ‘perfect’ life will still go on. Teaching my kids how to mow, weed eat, trim, and clean up has much more value in the long run. 

We get to spend time together. I won’t go so far as to classify it as ‘quality time’ as ‘quality time’ to me requires air conditioning, I am still getting to pass on something to them.

I will always remember something our pastor in Paradise, Texas said one day when discussing yard work. His yard wasn’t kept up like all of the neighbors, but he commented that his focus was raising kids and not grass. 

I try to remember this as my kids learn how to master yardwork skills. 

What’s more important to me? Time with my kids by far.