I undertook a massive garden project yesterday, reclaiming a flower bed that we'd given over to weeds (Because, well, you know. Life gets in the way of weeding sometimes, and suddenly you have a jungle in front of your porch and your perennials are choked and the cats are hiding/pooping in there, and the spiders are laying eggs.) F saw the pile of weeds and ran to the barn, volunteering the use of her John Deere (a non-birthday present from Opa. Thank you, Opa.)
This is a very Vermont sentiment: see someone with a problem or a tough project, and volunteer your man power. You have a vehicle, tool, extension cord, or spare piece of wood for that. You have extra seed potatoes and heirloom tomato starts or your grandmother's lilacs or a spare wheelbarrow or a tall-enough ladder.
Minutes after seeing my epic pile of weeds, F comes zooming down a fairly complicated hill and sharp turn (around my car - gulp) with Z in the passenger seat...and suddenly the girls are loading weeds in the back of their vehicle.
F: Mom. You're probably small enough to drive this.
Me: <knows it's true, sort of wants to try> No, dear.
Then they went to dump the weeds and I felt the need to hover a little bit.
Me: Turn right, Honey.
F: I know.
Me: <scampers behind the Gator, thinking: F looks good, but how can they kill themselves in this thing? Will they run over the dogs?>
F, calmly: Z, you can't push the pedal when I'm driving. Only I push the pedal.
Me: What about dumping the weeds behind that tree over there?
F, calmly, slyly, and very much in control: If you don't move, I'm probably going to run over you.
Me: <stares. Is this what 16 is going to be like?>
F: <Dumps weeds. Hops back in the Gator, tosses ponytails, puts one arm behind the passenger seat like a pro, and begins to reverse.>
Those purposeful strides! Be still my heart!
Now. If I can only write with as much zeal as I weeded that garden...or with as much confidence as my 4 year old drives an SUV.