Beautiful, eh? Like many rural folks, we depend on a wood stove for heat in the winter. Wood stove heat was new to me when we moved out here, but I’ve fallen in love with it. There’s not much more cozy than a fire going in the wood stove, with a pot of soup simmering away on top.
But this post isn’t about our wood stove, or even the wood you see stacked above. It’s about little boys. It’s about developing a strong work ethic in our children.
This weekend my husband took off in the afternoon to borrow his dad’s dump trailer and pick up several facecords of wood. My husband cuts as much as he can from our property, but as he works full-time, he isn’t able to cut enough to supply our entire winter heat. He showed up a couple of hours later with the load of wood and his mom who wanted to help. Our 4-year-old son and I headed out to help stack wood.
The little guy helped the entire time, taking one, or even two pieces, over to the stack, putting them on the highest spot he could (because it wasn’t challenging enough to put them where he could easily reach) and then RUNNING back to the pile to pick up more wood. He did this over and over again until the pile was gone, sprinting every time. He worked so hard, and we were so proud of him. (And a little side note – we just started giving him a very small allowance for extra chores he helps with, to teach him about money and giving, as his Sunday school class does an offering for Heifer Intl. When my husband told the little guy how proud he was for his hard work, his response was, very matter of fact, “Yes, that’s why I cost so much money.” Out of the mouths of babes.)
And that brings me to the point of this post. Little boys need work. Some may think we’re harsh for having our 4-year-old help do things like stacking wood (although he actually volunteered for the job), but he thrives when he has a job to do. He craves work, just like his dad. It’s amazing to see how young that work ethic can develop in children. And there is plenty of fun and play for most of his day. But work is what boys are made to do.
I won’t go off on our culture and how we do an injustice for our boys/men by letting them off the hook with doing hard work. But why do we have so many young men today still living at home and playing video games, unable to work hard and hold down a steady job? And before I get carried away on my soap box, that’s all I’ll say about that :).
But the bottom line is that boys need work. And we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace that need and give our little ones the jobs they need to develop a strong work ethic.