I came home one day and noticed the yard had been mowed, I wondered but got busy and forgot to ask who had done this wonderful thing. A few weeks later, the same thing. I got home and the yard had been mowed. I asked David, "Who is mowing our yard?" and he says "I've hired Charles". Splendid, I think.
So a few weeks later, I come home from work and there is a small child helping David load a lawnmower into the back of his truck. Holy Smokes! The child labor police are going to lock us up! As soon as I get him alone, I say, "David, you can't hire a little boy to mow the yard! He's only 6 or 7 years old!" David assures me he is in the 7th grade and he is quite capable. I'm doubtful. Where is his mother?
I got home from work yesterday and David says, "Charles called, he is coming over to mow the yard". Our doorbell rings about 6:30pm, it's Charles to mow the yard. Splendid. He does half the yard and comes to the door for a drink of water. Lovely, come in, catch your breath, here is some water. I take a closer look at him. He has grown since I saw him last, the way 7th grade boys do. He has a smattering of freckles across his nose. Quick to smile. He goes back out to finish the yard.
David says to me, "I can't remember how much I usually pay him". So I have a twenty and five ones on the ready. Charles comes to the door to say he's finished. David asks how much to pay and Charles tells him twenty. I hand him the twenty. I say, "Do you need me to take you home?" He says, "not really". I look at him harder and say "How did you get here?" He says, "I walked". I say, "If I don't take you home, how will you get home?" and he says "I'll walk". So I tell him to come on and I'll drive him home (about a one and a half miles).
I help him put the mower in the back of the truck. I say to him "I am very impressed that you would walk all the way over here to earn some money" and I hand him the five ones. He says to me, "My dad says if I want something, I have to earn it". I say to him, "Your dad is right".