“Look, Annie across the street is mowing the grass,” says my daughter, peering through the blinds like a puppy waiting for the mailman.
“Mmm hmm,” I say, not the least bit interested in that remark. I know where this is going.
“Hey, Mom,” my son yells, taking the steps two at a time, “Did you see Annie mowing the grass?”
Five minutes later, “Oh, look, Dear,” my husband runs in to tell me. “Annie is mowing the grass.”
“Well isn’t that good for Annie,” I say. Dammit, why can’t the women around here band together? Or at least can’t they mow the grass when my family is not at home?
I have held fast for 13 years and counting. I have never mowed the lawn. Well, I attempted 13 years ago when we were moving from a rental and needed to mow the thick, waist-deep forest that had become our backyard. I pushed and heaved with all my might, and the mower sputtered and choked and did things I wasn’t sure it was supposed to do. I mean, I was new to the whole mowing thing. Thick, three-foot grass is not something to cut your teeth on. So I stopped. A whole eight-foot strip of grass. That is what I have mowed. So yes, technically I have never mowed a whole lawn. And I don’t dare start now.
I’ll tell you why. I have wiped so many butts some days, that I have not been sure which was my own. I have had every bodily function spewed or smeared all over me. I have cooked dinner while doing laundry, helping the kids with their homework while they have been splayed over the table crying that they don’t understand, and trying to get my mother off the phone for the third time that day. I have had a meal on the table every night when my husband comes home from work, even when my kids decide that while I am cooking is the best time to pitch a fit. I clean the house, wash the sheets, put toys away, clean the crud off the toilets, hold the kids down for shots, check body parts for things I do not want to, shovel snow, rake the leaves, sweep the driveway, and sometimes trim the bushes….I do it and that’s fine.
I do not want to mow the grass. And every time I see little Annie over there mowing the grass or the three other women on my street who occasionally do it, I grit my teeth, clench my fists, and think to myself, “Don’t we do enough?”
Well, evidently, they don’t.