I don’t remember how my mom brought it up, I don’t even remember how old I was, but I know what my response was:
“But mom, none of the other kids have to,” with an eye roll and a heavy sigh.
See, my mom was working full-time as a licensed practical nurses and also carrying a full school load as she was become a registered nurse, so with school now out for the summer it was my turn to “start contributing around the house.”
My dad was working out of state at the time, so it was on me to start pulling my weight.
Gone where the “good ole days” where my chores strictly were related to feeding, watering and cleaning up after the dogs. I soon added laundry, cooking, cleaning, watering the flowers and cutting the grass to my daily duties.
I am sure I spent days pouting, complaining that my days of playing outside and obsessively thinking about my next Little League game were ruined; my life was over.
I wasn’t even 10 yet, doing grown up things were for grown ups after all, not kids.
In time, I had the routine down, making games out of all the chores. Being an only child, my imagination, with the help of two dogs, easily filled my days. Soon my favorite chore was cutting the grass. We had a riding lawn mower, so cutting the three acres we lived on became a NASCAR race.
Of course, there were growing pains. There was the time all of our whites were turned pink when I washed my mom’s lipstick, because I forgot to check the pockets of one of her uniforms. Then there was the time when I decided to cut the grass right after a couple of days of hard rain and got the lawn mower stuck. It sat there until my dad returned home a few days later.
It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized just how necessary those life skills were. I watched college mates go home on weekends to have their parents do their laundry. Me? My laundry was done, clean and static free.
I know that today that conversation and my subsequent eye rolling has made be a better person, and of course, I have my mom to thank for that. I just wish I still received an allowance for doing my chores.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the moms out there.
Tahoe Daily Tribune Editor Adam Trumble can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.