If you have driven past my house lately, you may have seen me pushing my newly purchased, old school reel mower.

The ad said the old mower was a perfect way to punish a sassy teenager — or something like that. I wasn’t thinking along those lines, but I do have a baby who will likely need an attitude adjustment someday. 

I was pregnant when I bought it. I know well the woman who sold it to me. I use the term “sold” loosely, because she wouldn’t take any money for it.

Did she think I was a lunatic? Maybe.

Was she correct? Probably.

She knew I didn’t have any sassy teens to use it, and that it would likely just be me, the pregnant lady. My husband was in the crowd of people who thought I was looney. He likes his riding mower.

When I decided to try using a reel mower, the environment was something I considered. A little bit less burned gasoline couldn’t be a bad thing. I also recently read an article about birds becoming disoriented by the noise of mowers. While I wasn’t certain how big of an issue that was, or even how valid, I didn’t want any neglected baby birds on my conscience.

My previously mentioned baby was also on my mind when I bought this mower. Having a baby really makes you think about what you believe in, and what values you want to pass along. To me, this mower represented hard work, environmental consciousness, and time spent outside.

I firmly believe kids need some responsibility, and they learn how to work by watching us adults.

Is mowing my lawn fun? No.

Does it need to be done? Certainly, and more than we do it.

When my husband and I were foster parents, all four of the kids in our home had responsibilities. The 6-year-old washed dishes with us. The 8-year-old helped me put away laundry. The 9-year-old was the hardest worker of them all; he would ask to vacuum my car, peel wallpaper in the kitchen when we were remodeling, and even scoop dog poop. These three kids took pride in a job well done. The 12-year old, on the other hand, only mowed the lawn to see how fast she could get our John Deere to whip around the yard.

Why does my reel mower matter? It doesn’t. But work hard, do the best you can to not hurt the environment, and spend some time in the sunshine. You really will feel better.