What does trust get you?

28 Jun

So, the other day, a teenage boy came to our door and politely asked if we would pay him to mow our yard. I have to admit, for one second I was wary. Wariness based on the visual assessment you know we all do in that first second of meeting someone. Here was mine: teenager, multiple piercings, somewhat long/shaggy hair hanging in eyes that required frequent head-flipping for him to see, and a lot of acne. Somehow, those thoughts faded out, and I immediately thought, “Hooray!” Two weeks ago, our lawn mower broke down and we’ve been borrowing my brother-in-law’s mower since then. Someone who wanted to mow for us? How serendipitous! (Sorry, the word popped into my head and I had to use it). We had previously discussed trying to find a local teenager to mow for us, but weren’t sure that there were any individuals existing within the species who were willing to perform this sort of work anymore. We had asked one, and were treated as if we were insane or perhaps visiting from another planet.

I immediately liked “Mowing Boy,” (even though my husband scoffs at my purported skills of intuition). He just struck me as a good, responsible kid. I asked him how much he was going to charge, and he got sort of nervous and said, “I’m just a really hard worker and want to earn some money this summer. I don’t know – – maybe 10 or 15 dollars?” Our yard takes us 1 hour to mow with a push mower, so this seemed like a fair price to me. We agreed on $15, he said he’d be back later in the week and he asked “if it would be too much trouble” (HONESTLY – he said exactly that) to have $5 up front for gas for his mower. Since I was giving him money anyway, I gave him the full $15. He shook his head and said I didn’t need to pay him the full amount until the job was done. I looked him in the eye and told him it was OK – I trusted him. He seemed to relax a bit and assured me that he’s not one of “those bad kids, Ma’am” and that he was responsible.

So, do you know where this story’s going…….

That’s right! He came back. On a very hot afternoon, he came pushing the mower from 8 blocks away. He brought his two little brothers (I’m guessing aged 8 and 10). One was in charge of carrying the gas can and the other with trash bags for bagging sticks and clippings. My best guess is that he’s also responsible for “baby-sitting” them. He was a meticulous worker. He mowed very slowly and evenly, in perfectly straight lines, and, when he was finished, he asked if we had a broom he could use to sweep the sidewalks. I wondered if I was dreaming. Our yard looks better than it ever has. My husband met him only briefly, since he was just coming home as Mowing Boy was leaving, but he said with admiration, “I think I like him.” Ha! He should never have scoffed at my intuitive skills.

So what does trust get you? Sometimes, it can open up a world of wonderful. I wonder if Mowing Boy’s parents know what he’s doing? I hope that they’re as proud of him as I am. I’m just some kooky stranger down the street, but I’m pretty darned impressed to find that there are indeed responsible teens out there, willing to work hard, be honest and do a good job. I wonder how many of our neighbors turned him down because of initial, outward appearances. Too bad for them. Mowing Boy, if you ever needs a reference for that Ivy League College or prestigious job you’re headed for, just let me know. I’m already singing your praises.


Posted by on June 28, 2008 in Uncategorized


10 responses to “What does trust get you?

  1. Alice

    June 28, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Wow! Can I hire him? I haven’t met a teen that dedicated to a job in a long long while.

  2. psychmamma

    June 28, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Alice –

    Not sure where you live, but you might have to pay some bucks to cover his travel costs. 🙂 I have renewed hope that there are more like him, out there somewhere, unknown and under-appreciated, by those of us made cynical by what seems to be the majority of teens.

  3. anymommy

    June 29, 2008 at 4:24 am

    Wait, did you flash your bra at him? Just kidding, that’s my life. It’s great when someone lives up to the trust you put in them. Great story!

  4. psychmamma

    June 29, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Ha! AnyMommy, I absolutely LOVED that post. No bra flashing involved in my story, but I totally feel your pain. Glad that today was a better day in Potty Training Land for you. Hang in there!

  5. Your Fun Family

    June 29, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Wow, Sounds like a good kid!
    I find it hard to trust kids these days but we live in a small town now and I keep getting pleasantly surprised.

  6. psychmamma

    June 29, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Your Fun Family –

    Aren’t those little pleasant surprises great!

  7. Monica

    June 30, 2008 at 5:40 am

    What a great story. Thanks for reminding us to see beyond appearances!

  8. psychmamma

    June 30, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Monica!

    Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. I love your blog!

  9. Awake

    July 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Ooh, I want a mowing boy! Ahh, polite, responsible, trustworthy – great kid.

  10. psychmamma

    July 1, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Awake –

    Be on the lookout! My hope is renewed that there are more out there like him. Somewhere….


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