Like my father before me, and maybe like fathers everywhere, I sometimes worry that my sons aren't learning a strong work ethic. So I was a little surprised when Jeremiah and his friend Ian went out Friday afternoon on a day off from school and split and stacked our first load of wood. I had gotten a good start on it, but there was still plenty left to be done.
Isaiah and his two friends were inside playing Oblivion--Kim had taken them in that morning to finally pick it up. It wasn't long before Tim and Marshall came outside and wanted to help. I asked Jeremiah later if he had read Tom Sawyer. He hasn't; that's a pleasure still ahead of him. So I explained how Tom makes whitewashing the fence--a job he hates--look like so much fun that he gets his friends to pay him for the privilege of doing it for him. Jeremiah liked that.
Tim and Marshall finished off the last of the wood, except for one final piece. There was a bit of a contest to see who would get the honor of the last lick.
Soon that piece, too, was split and stacked. And just in the nick of time. That night it rained and snowed.
I thanked Jeremiah for his hard work, and for his excellent timing in getting the work done just before the rain. Jeremiah, who never misses an opportunity, asked, "So how much are you going to pay me?"
So I gave him what my father often tried to give me: wisdom. I said, "The reward of a job well done is to have done it."
He loved that.
But he hasn't bugged me about money since. I think he learned Friday--though he'd never admit it to me--that there might be something in that old saying after all.
Thanks again, J. Good work.