Monday, June 4, 2018

Yard Flyers: When Gumption and Creative Writing Collide

Memorial Day Weekend Party at the Farm.  Third generation of cousins, siblings, and general relatives.  Age span in this photo ranges from 15 years old to 4 weeks!  Getting this group to congregate in one space was no small feat.

My generation.  Again, cousins/siblings/spouses.  Age span from youthful to creaky.

We've been friends since freshman year of college.  Seems like we can slip back into conversation easily, even decades later.  So grateful for my dear friend Rachel.

When we were 18, I never expected our kids to be playing together years later!  (And that neither one of us would have a girl!)

Cooper acted as tour guide for the Clark boys through the cornfields.   These special tours are only given in Indiana!

For the last few weeks, the clock is ticking down to when my friend Marie moves to South Carolina.  Another going away party with laughter mixed with tears.

Cooper's dear piano teacher is 88 years old.  She teachers over 50 students with a joy and a quickness that makes her appear decades younger.  At Cooper's recital, we delighted in all he has been taught by his precious teacher.

 I had to snap this picture on the move because: 1) Cooper was giddy about his last day of 5th grade, 2) It's embarrassing to get your picture taken by your mom at school (obviously).

While we dropped his brothers off at camp, Caleb enjoyed time with his Grandparents.

Collin and his buddy Aaden ready to embark on a week of camp.

Cooper settled into his teepee home for the week! 

A few days ago, I received a text from my neighbor.

"I just love Cooper's flyer," she gushed over the screen.  "We'd love to hire him."

I scratched my head and typed back, "What flyer?"

Within minutes, she sent over an image of Cooper's homemade flyer.  It was a typewritten page with the heading "Summer Cleaning and Yard Word" splashed upon the top.  His words filled an entire page with a breezy intro.

"Do you know what time it is?  It's summer time!  It's time to relax.  In summer, you don't deserve to work on your yard," he began.

The remainder of the flyer outlines his services, expectations, and contact information.

While I was impressed with an entrepreneurial spirit and gumption, I questioned a few of his offered skills, including lawn moving and weed whacking.  In Cooper's 11 years on earth, he's mowed the lawn once(ish), and he's never touched a weed whacker (minor details, I know).  When I asked Cooper about this minor oversight, he suggested he could learn on the job.  Savvy.  Yet, I'm not sure how many customers are inclined to serve as his lawn guinea pig.

Since the flyer has been distributed, Cooper's weeded a neighbor's yard.  He assisted with bush trimming and porch cleaning.  With each job, he proudly walks into the house beaming while clutching a few dollar bills.  

A few weeks ago, I attended school award ceremonies.  Administrators and teachers awarded students for academic achievements and athletic prowess. All good things.  But as I sat through all the awards, I wondered if too much time was being spent awarding kids for the wrong things.

If I could have my own private award ceremony, I would award Cooper for his initiative and hard work.  His little flyer, the sweat on his brow, and the dirt in his nails demonstrates strength in character.  Dear Cooper, these traits will get you far in life.  But next time son, list skills you actually can offer.


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