Ohh, the joy of jumping in the leaves! A couple days last week, my son, Luke, grabbed the rakes and he and Jed (our 4 year old) worked tirelessly raking the fallen leaves into a pile. Each afternoon, they came inside beaming with a sense of accomplishment for the pile that they had made and the fun they had enjoyed as a result.
Have I told you we have a lot of leaves???
We live on a wooded acre with 150 foot poplar trees towering over our backyard. Around late August, the first few leaves begin falling and don't stop until early December....at which time the tall luscious trees look a bit stark and cold. For three months, my husband tries to "keep up with the leaves." My husband also likes to have the right tool for every job! I have been blessed with a handy husband who loves to work around the house and yard. I am very thankful for all of his skills and the way he blesses us all so much...and saves us lots of money through his handiwork and willingness.
When we moved here around 6 years ago, he went out and bought a backpack blower...you know, the kind that the landscapers use. I must admit, I baulked at it in the beginning, mainly because of the price, but can't tell you how much we have used it.
When it comes to the leaves, it is invaluable. Anyway, on Friday afternoon, the three younger kids were running around outside. I thought I'd surprise them with an even bigger leaf pile and went out and grabbed the blower. (It is about 10x the speed of raking...and hardly any manual labor! :) They sat patiently next to a tree and watched, as I basically vacuumed a portion of the grass with the blower and got all of the leaved in a really big pile!
As they waited by the tree, they were bursting with excitement. I tried really hard to get a good picture of them waiting...but you see they weren't really cooperative.....was it the bursting at the seams thing?? Mind you, Jed, on the left....he is our comedian...often trying to vie for a shining moment.
The pile was finally done and I told 'em to have at it.....they all raced for the pile and basically flung themselves into it. You would have thought they were jumping in a swimming pool. Even Faith, my cautious one.....went right for it......with complete unabandoned joy. How the giggles were sweet sound to my ears. Look closely at the picture below and see if you can find the top of Luke's head buried and camouflaged in the leaves.
Being the daredevil that I am and looking for the thrill, I like to pass that on to my children.....so had the great idea (also a little dangerous, I must admit) of putting the Little Tykes slide next to the pile. That quickly became the jumping platform instead of the slide, as you see Luke demonstrating his moves. Thankfully, Faith used the slide as was intended and went down, (most times), feet first on her bottom. I do try to teach them about being responsible, too! :) As you can see, darkness descended and the kids were still out having a ball.
They couldn't believe it when I jumped in with them and buried myself in the leaves! What fun.
When the two older boys came back from playing football with the neighborhood boys, they were bummed they had missed out on the leaf fun. See, you're never too old to jump in the leaves.
It was such a wonderful afternoon. All else was put aside to just enjoy being with the kids and laughing. Somedays, I don't think I do enough of that, especially with the two smallest children.
Here's a picture of our backyard to give you an idea of the blanket of leaves that cover the ground. No sooner does my husband mow them up.....within days the ground is covered again.
But, I wouldn't trade the yard we have which offers our children tons of room to run and explore and just be kids...it really is all worth it! And the beautiful trees that shade the house and give a canopy to the back yard...in the fall they sure make for one really, really big leaf pile!
"Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!" Psalm 32:11
With such joy-Stacy