Keeping up with the Jones’

Taking walks in my neighborhood has become a painful thing for me. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy walking, and I’m not horribly out of shape, either. But when I walk, I admire all the beautiful, manicured lawns with their perfect flower beds and perfectly mowed and edged grass. Seriously, they all look like they have been painted in Photoshop. Then I see my lawn. It is not beautifully manicured with perfect flower beds and a perfect mow and trim job. In fact, I have bright yellow wildflowers growing! Kids love them, HOA does not.

It is usually about this time that I realize, hey! Time to mow the lawn. Oh joy. What fun. I always try to tell myself as I start immediately working up a sweat that I will be happy when I am done… That I will admire my hard work and feel a sense of pride, as I’m sure my neighbors do when they come home from work and the lawn fairies have come and done a beautiful job for them. We do not have lawn fairies at our house, as I’m sure you have already guessed. I found out they cost money.

So today I got out the lawn mower and set out to tackle that jungle that I hoped would soon be a lawn again. The people who live behind us were lounging by the pool listening to music and enjoying cool drinks. Bastards. A few couples passed me on the sidewalk as they enjoyed a late morning walk. I smiled and they politely smiled back. But I know what they were thinking: “Hey, you missed a few spots! Haven’t you ever heard of weed killer? What finally made you get out and mow?!” Judgmental jerks.

About the time that I have finished mowing the entire front lawn, I am ready to die. This Texas heat is no joke! I return to the cool interior of my air-conditioned house for a much-needed water break. Inside, the kids are nestled on the couch together watching a movie. Two of four turn to me and say, “Mommy, your cheeks are so red!  You must be really HOT!!”  Observant little brats.


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