Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The things they love about Fall

Kids in general love Fall, right?  Mine do.  Let me be  more specific...

Part I

My oldest son has a deep, deep, deep, very deep love of manual labor.  (Think hours of intense leaf raking with the focus and precision of a surgeon.)  We don't have a tree in our front yard, and the tall maple in our back yard hangs on to its leaves until the snow flies.  What's a  family to do?  The littler kids want piles to jump in.  My oldest is saying things like, "Aw, Mom, everyone else in the neighborhood has leaves to rake except us."  So we do what any normal leaf-loving family deprived of autumn foliage would do:  we import it.    

Yep, we take our wagons (one a dangerously rusty and loud-on-the-pavement Radio Flyer from when I was a kid.  Classic.) and we head to the yards that have the most to offer.  The kids stuff as much as they can into our wagons, haul them home, and then they frolic.  Then we head back for more leaves.  Again and again.  (This is our fourth year of leaf importation.  I used to be against it.  I'm over it.  Well, I actually lead the excursions now.)  

Frolicking will only hold my oldest's attention for so long.  And then he needs to work.  So we (and I really mean he) begin(s) loading the wagons again and bringing the leaves to the curb.  He goes up and down the block and rakes everyone else's leaves to our curb.  And soon, you can't really see our curb. 

Part II

Both of my sons have a highly developed appreciation for big work machines.  (They think it's a cool hobby, I see it as Physics, so... develop away!)  Every Fall, huge dump trucks and front wheel loaders caravan around our city taking away the piles of leaves left at the curb.  They usually do it at night when there's less traffic and more room to scoop and dump.  My boys have had a lot of up-close exposure to big trucks, so it's not as if they're waiting to see their first live front loader.  But for some reason, it has become monumentally important that we witness the removal of the giant pile of not-our leaves.   

And so, last night, we did.  I heard the back-up beeping, the scraping of metal on the street, and called out, "They're here!"  My husband leapt out of bed and headed for the boys'  room. I checked the clock.  12:45 AM.  (that's AM, in the morning...).  For a while they watched from their window, which looks out over the street.  But (and I knew this would happen) it wasn't good enough.  The guys all went outside to be one with the leaves and the trucks and the night.  No one got back to sleep until about 2:30.  

          (My pictures through the upstairs window.  Well, someone had to stay inside...)

This morning I groggily sipped my coffee and listened to how dark it was, how cold it was, how they could see their breath, how loud it was, how many trucks there were, how you can still see the scrape marks on the street from the claws of the loader, and how when it was all over they fell asleep with Dad in a heap on the couch.  

Was it worth it?  Yes. Will we do it again next year?  Probably.  Because it's one of those things my kids love about Fall.  

p.s.  This afternoon, my oldest colored some paper red, cut it up, whipped up some of his amazing Lego creations, and recreated the scene from last night. (He's pretty awesome that way.) Here it is:

And he's out raking now even as I write, starting a new pile!  


  1. Wow. I don't know if I could ever bring myself to wake them! You are definitely a fun mom! And we have more leaves than we can handle here. I'm not even kidding...if he wants to earn some money I would totally pay him to haul leaves for us! Brian spent hours last weekend doing it and they're still not done. My boys are less than enthusiastic about it even with the financial incentive! Maybe he could be a good influence!


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