A little snow can be a thing of beauty. However, after nearly three days of precipitation, my perception of beauty had changed. I had assistance shoveling for the first two days, but today I would be on my own. I started the job but my aching back and shoulders told me it was time to call for reinforcements. My limited ability to heave shovels full of dense snow over the nearly waist high mountains lining my driveway made me put down my malevolent implement of pain and find an alternative means to get the car out of the garage. That is when I heard about Tyler. I first read about him on my neighborhood’s social media page, then I got a personal referral from a neighbor.
When I found out he was on his way to do my neighbor’s driveway, I went out to see if he was able to do mine as well. He showed up with own cheering section. His mom was his business manager, and a gracious friend transported the snow blower. Luckily, they were not frightened away when they saw me bolt out of my house like a starving cheetah who had just caught sight of a lone three legged wildebeest.
I talked to Tyler’s mom while he worked. I asked if he had a goal, and indeed he did. He was working with a specific thing in mind. My eyes were riveted on this flying unicorn as he operated the equipment. I was excited to see a young teenager capitalizing on the opportunity to earn. Over the last three days, I haven’t been approached by anyone looking for a shoveling gig. In the last 12 years, I haven’t had anyone approach me for a lawn mowing job. In all fairness, I typically do not need the services, but it would solidify my faith in the future to see such initiative! Granted, Tyler is fortunate to have access to a snow blower, but my understanding is that he started with just a shovel.
Tyler did a great job. I happily thanked him and sent him away telling him that I hoped he would do well and it didn’t appear that he had too much competition for the jobs. He was a man of few words, but I think he was happy too. His gross pay for less than an hour’s work was a pretty respectable contribution towards his goal.
I’m going to risk sounding like an old person (which I decidedly am not) when I regale you with a “back in my day” moment. Back in my day, when kids walked to school, uphill both ways, we were also incentivized to work for what we wanted. Torrential showers of cold, hard currency were not typically in the forecast. Because we wanted, we were more likely to persistently pursue outside sources of income to quench our desires. I suppose we didn’t appreciate it so much at the time, but the resourcefulness that was instilled in us was a lifelong gift. We would be a wise generation to acknowledge that this gift is necessary for all, even if we can easily afford to fulfil every heart’s desire for our kids.
Tyler, as a flying unicorn, you are a truly unique breed. Remember to appreciate your parents and anyone else who supported your efforts. Someday, you’ll realize that your parents helped you cultivate the gifts of initiative and resourcefulness. I wish you the best as you continue to work for what you want.