Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hardworking Boy

While most kids would be sleeping in on a Saturday, mine is out mowing this morning.  In fact, he's spent most of his summer doing just that.  What started as an assigned chore quickly turned into a part-time job for Noah.  As shared earlier this year in Noah's-first-job, he went from helping us, to now mowing 5 yards in the neighborhood.

Each time a new yard request came in, he'd bound into the house excited about the cash lining his pockets.  He'd list dreams and plans of what he might do with his weekly paychecks.  After a short "Money 101" with Mom & Dad, we calmed him to make some great choices though.  We were proud to see him open a savings account, set aside an expense envelope for gas, and a spending envelope that was free fun money for him. 

I've enjoyed watching him mature and make decisions on how and what to spend his money on.  While he's happy to have money in his wallet, knowing he worked for it helps in making wiser purchases.  There were several times this summer we had learning opportunities as we discussed value/worth/cost on something he wanted to buy.  That didn't stop him from starting a bouncy ball collection, or splurging on jerky and video games though. His girlfriend certainly benefitted on his career this summer too, as they became regulars at the weekly matinee.  Every time he proudly puffs his chest out a bit while reaching into his pocket for his wallet, I smile a little inside and out.

But of course, it hasn't been all sunshine and roses.  As spring warmed into summer, Noah learned that even on a riding mower, the scorching heat can quickly turn a simple job into a sweaty one.  He also discovered that while extra yards meant extra cash, it also meant more hours in the sun.  It meant not always getting to play those video games, even when they were yelling his name, or shuffling his plans based on the weather.  And it meant taking more showers than a boy his age would ever hope to take!  However, he's held strong through it all and I couldn't be prouder.  He's grown with each blade he's cut down by his lawnmower this summer. With each lap, he's learning lessons that I hope he'll carry with him for a lifetime.

Throughout the summer, he's had his eye on a new tv.  I think that's what has been his motivation each week as he prepares for another mowing marathon.  Carefully adding his new balance in his savings register every time he made a deposit, he'd grow more anxious the closer he became to his goal.  Once there, he jumped up and down in the living room floor, ready to go out immediately and buy one that night.  Taking advantage of a teaching moment though, we helped him research for the best model and price, and decided ordering online was his best option.

Noah was then on a countdown for the arrival, checking off each day on the calendar and asking non-stop if I'd received the email yet.  A few weeks ago the big day (and package) arrived.  Seeing his expression as we placed it in his room was priceless.  Witnessing his pride every time he shows it to someone, as he shares the fact that he bought it all by himself, is even better. 


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