Monday, June 14, 2010

How to be Your Son's Hero

Yesterday, I gave my 11 year old his second lesson on using the riding lawnmower.  He was a little uncertain about reaching the brake pedal but did fine the first time so I gave him a pep talk and away he went. About 30 minutes into his mow I was standing on the back step watching him on and off when I heard, "Heeeelp - it won't stop! What do I do?". I saw he was going REALLY fast and standing up trying to steer it towards me for help. I yelled, "Hit the brake!" and he responded, "It won't work - HEEEELP!". I shouted, "Turn the key!" but he just froze and kept steering. I  had an image flash in my mind that he looked like a boy on a wild mustang stung by a bee. I ran along side him, hoping to keep from getting my foot chopped off, and grabbed the gear and popped it into neutral. He stopped and said, "You rescued me!" I suggested he take a break and come back after he calmed down and I had check out out all the functions of the mower to see if it was broken. He said, "No, I think I'm done mowing." I was worried he'd be defeated. I inspected all the gears and brake and reset the throttle that he'd cranked up near max and told him everything was working fine and pointed out that he was on setting 4 for speed when I said to keep it at 3 or less. He just looked at me with this goofy smirk like he knew -  he just knew he had done it to himself. I was really proud of him when he came back 10 minutes later to finish the job. I asked him this morning what he thought of that mower running away with him and he gave me a sheepish grin and said, "You mean my big freak out?"  I remember all too well my "freak-out" moments as a kid. It's so much more fun when you can laugh at with your own kids over theirs!