43. Wreck Your Lawn

Connor’s third birthday party was held with a gathering of friends and family in our backyard.  Our lush, green, carpeted-thick-with-grass backyard.  We had just moved into this home about a year earlier, and everyone complimented me on “how wonderful your lawn looks!”  Of course, being the smart-aleck pessimist that I am, I deflected all compliments by saying “Take a good look at it now, it’ll only get worse from here.”

I had no idea.

That same lusciously carpeted backyard now looks like a nuclear lawnmower testing site gone wrong out in Area 51 or something.  Dead splotches everywhere.  Straggly grass patches, struggling to poke themselves up wherever escape can be found from trucks, scooters, skates, balls, and fossilized socks.

And holes.  Heaven help us, the holes.  Holes and dirt mounds are everywhere, like we’ve been invaded by a herd of suburban anteaters.  Or bombed relentlessly with enemy mortars.  (Which is probably what our neighbors would prefer to be doing in response to all the noise.)  Boys will dig a hole anywhere, with anything.  But mostly they’ll dig it right in the middle of where nobody, for any reason, will ever need a hole.  After hearing some sage advice from a veteran mother: “Every boy needs a dirt pile for digging in their back yard,” we thought this was a brilliant solution.  I zoned off a nice, tidy corner and declared it “The Digging Spot,” knowing that we’d surely never see dirt on the lawn again.

This is what we got:

We also got buckets of mud carted all over the property and dumped in piles on the grass. Piles like Clifford the Big Red Dog did his potty breaks at our place.  Honking piles of dumped mud, everywhere.  Dirt isn’t good enough in the dirt spot.  Boys must see how it looks when deposited atop something else.  Something nice.  Something green, that we can kill, or something dad will trip spectacularly over while searching urgently for lost pacifiers in the dark.  Boys are hall of fame dumpers.

But we’ve only begun to mention the reasons your lawn is toast if you have boys.  There are the plagues of ferocious insects attracted to every square inch of your grass by the vast feast of scattered granola bar remnants, popsicle drippings, and gooey candy wrappers.  It’s like you’re the pharaoh and the boy is mini-Moses, calling down swarms of locusts attracted solely to the shining of those horrible, foil CapriSun pouches and their glorious “Mountain Berry Mist” residue.  Let’s face it, does anyone believe that even ten percent of a CapriSun pouch ever even makes it inside the kid?  Not a chance.  It’s all bait for the bugs that are about to munch your yard into nothingness.

Attempting to mow what’s left of your lawn when boys are done is even worse, due to the debris field your mower is forced to withstand.  Golf balls, large rocks colored with markers, silverware… Every mowing session is like a new episode of “Will it Blend?” and includes exciting new discoveries for dad, like “Wow.  Never thought a tennis ball could unravel into string and wrap 294 times around a mower blade.  Neato.”

But as you survey your landscape once the day is done, hoping the trim job might help the neighborhood “lawn of doom” look mildly acceptable, you stop pondering the shredded victims of your “Will it Blend” show and start asking the real question:

“Will it Live?”

Because when it comes to your lawn, the answer is no.  It will not live.  It will die a gradual and merciless death, with boys hounding it every second of the way…

Rest in peace, lawn.  You are gone for now, but never forgotten.

For when these boys are 15 and pleading for a phone and texting and car insurance premium payments… I will avenge you, lawn.  With their sweat, I will avenge you.  And my word is my bond!


11 thoughts on “43. Wreck Your Lawn

  1. Great post, and even better ending. One day these boys will pay. When they want to borrow the keys to the family vehicle for a night out with their buddys, they can go ……. as long as they have fixed the yard so that it looks as lush as the fairways at Augusta National (golf course near Atlanta). So Tucker better start now, at age 8.

    • You got it, man. With springtime here and my yard looking horrible as usual, I was getting more and more depressed as I wrote this. Then it dawned on me…the solution to this boy devastation is actually the boys themselves. Give me ten years, and Augusta National, here we come! lol

  2. When yours are older like mine are, they and their friends will destroy the $2000 worth of sod you had put in by running up and down, up and down, playing football, or really anything with a ball. St. Augustine grass does NOT do well with “high traffic.” I have bags of topsoil and grass plugs to put out, but why am I wasting my time and money?? sigh…

  3. Love it, absolutely love it, especially the ending, which I can hear you saying with an evil chuckle…:D
    If they need some practice cutting the grass, send them down here…we use a machete.
    I’m sure that would be highly dangerous with your 3 boys and my 2. On second thought, how about I send mine there to learn???

  4. Just remember to take LOTS of pictures for evidence. When they object, when they want the keys to the car (if you dare to surrender it to the “the boys”. Poor car) just whip out a picture and TaDa!!!! You finally have them!

  5. LOVE the concrete idea! Except for the medical bills that would come afterward…

    We were only in our last house for 9 months. We babied that lawn like you wouldn’t believe! The owner would e-mail us about once a week to ask how his lawn was doing. We watered twice a day, fed it, talked to it, weeded it. I would have bought it dinner and a movie if I thought it would help! The day he showed up to inspect the house, I thought he was going to cry!

    On top of our four very active, home-all-day boys, we had every other boy (and a few girls) in our back yard. On any given day we’d have anywhere between 4-20 kids… in that itty-bitty yard.

    The grass had NO chance – but the fire ants are gone! 😉

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