Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ingenuity (or, What do Do with Autumn Leaves)

Here in Wisconsin, it is officially Fall -- cloudy skies, cool temps, winter jackets and lots and lots of leaves. And as far as I and my boys are concerned, there is absolutely one thing you must do with your leaves in the fall. Jump in them!

Boy #3 spent hours yesterday raking leaves from the front yard and transferring them to the side yard. (Near the picnic table, he explained. So you can jump off it.) He and his brothers had a blast jumping in the crunchy, cushy pile. "And don't worry, Mom," he told me later. "We cleaned it all up."

This struck me as odd, not the least because my boys are not exactly great about cleaning up after themselves. And cleaning up after a leaf pile? That was something I'd never even asked them to do.

Being a smart mom, I did not inquire further. Who I am to squelch their desire for order, their sense of responsibilty? I did think it odd that there was no neatly raked leaf pile (my idea of how they might have cleaned up) or leaves on the curb (would they possibly have jumped in them and then taken them to the curb for pick up?), but shrugged it off as one more unknowable thing of parenting.

Then I walked into the garage this morning and discovered their stash: One wheelbarrow, full of leaves. One garbage can, full of leaves. One five-gallon bucket, full of leaves. My boys, it seemed, decided to pack their leaf pile away for another day.

The same boys who can barely be bothered to pick up their rooms managed to clean up and store a pile of autumn leaves.

What have your boys done lately that's surprised you?


  1. Glad they found the right motivation to clean ;) We love the leaf piles here in NY, too bad they come with an assortment of ticks.

  2. It's all about priorities, I suppose ;-)