Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Nathaniel has been working on filling in ditches for his grandpa. He makes it look easy, but I recognize the expertise he has developed over the years that makes it look this way. He started climbing on and pretending to drive a John Deere lawn tractor long before he could talk. I didn't see the point of our new cordless phone until then. But when I had to take him out to the lean-to in the backyard for him to climb into the seat and pretend to drive the John Deere every day, I began to appreciate the new phone.
When we first moved to the country, we bought a John Deere 310 B backhoe. Nathaniel became an expert at its operation when he was about 9. We also had a dump truck and a bulldozer. He learned by necessity, because Grandpa often needed him in our land clearing/stump digging projects. Something was always getting stuck, and Nathaniel was called upon to help chain things and drive either the backhoe or the dump truck. Plus he did real work. My mother-in-law recently related how she remembers being terrified when she saw him at that young age, parked at the edge of the pond we were digging, working away. She told Emma that she was too scared to look, and Emma told her that it was all right, he did it all the time. He is only now beginning to realize that he knows how to do a lot of mechanical things that other young men his age do not. His experience made him a very good problem solver.
(I took the picture from inside the house, to avoid being killed.)