Earlier this week, I woke up to the sound of lawn equipment outside my bedroom window. My thoughts instantly went to my dad. For my entire life my dad has done the lawn. He loves the bit of yard they have and takes pride in cultivating it.
While my dad is a public school teacher, he also does lawns on the side. In fact, for my childhood he had his own lawn business "Green Akers" before he went back to school to become a teacher. This has had an effect on me and my life in so many ways.
I know this is nerdy, but bear with me...I have been studying a theory called attachment theory quite a bit this semester. The gist of it assumes that the way a baby's primary caregiver attends to them will ultimately lead the child to develop an understanding of self and others within interpersonal relationships. The child could end up secure, avoidant, or ambivalent and this attachment style could follow the child into future romantic relationships. While doing all this research I would try and remember pieces about my childhood and my "caregiver." As it turns out, my dad is in most of my early memories. My mom worked early and since my dad was an self employed, he would get us up and ready in the morning.
I have memories of him splashing (probably sprinkling) water on my face when I would refuse to get up in the morning. I can see like it was yesterday, him sitting at the table with us eating cereal, making a Donald Duck sneeze which projected his rolly chair across the kitchen. I remember going with him to the store when my sister was sick to get pedialyte and then watched as he rocked her to sleep. And how on Thursdays, he would pick me and my brothers up from elementary school so we wouldn't have to take the bus home but my first grade brain mixed up Thursday for Tuesday and I ended up waiting for hours for him but I knew he'd come. I loved it when he'd let me go with him when he was running an errand so we could just talk. I have so many memories of him taking care of me, and love him so much for it.
Soon, after first grade my dad got his teaching degree and started teaching full time. He is an amazing teacher and can understand 2nd graders (and most children for that matter) on a level I'll never know. He was teaching school full time, doing lawns on the side, helping to rise 4 children, and then he decided to get a masters degree while continuing to do all those things. I don't know how he did it. When I was getting my masters I didn't have a family or even a job outside of working for the school.
My dad also taught us how to work and he taught his daughters how to become strong women who could do any thing they put their minds to. I was really bad (and still am) at doing yard work, but whenever I need or wanted some extra money, he always lets me go do lawns with him. So, not only did we see him work hard but he let us learn how to work for the things we want and have.
All of this to say, that I love my dad. When I lived with my parents it would drive me crazy to wake up to the lawnmower, blower, or line trimmer at some wretchedly early hour of the morning. But now, anytime I hear lawn equipment it makes me smile and think of my loving dad and all he has done for me.