Mama’s Away and the Axes Come Out

Julia has been out of town the past couple days, so the boys and I decided to make further headway on the winter’s firewood supply. This was the first year all three of my boys could split with me. My oldest has been helping for years, but only recently have I figured out splitting axes that the youngers can handle safely and effectively.

It was a hit.

These boys have unbounded energy, especially when it comes to smacking things apart with steel on the end of a stick. We made good progress together, and I can almost feel the toasty heat already. I think the boys feel the satisfaction too. As we stacked it tall this afternoon, they couldn’t help but bounce with excitement. They seem mighty proud of what they’ve accomplished.

It’s a rich experience as a father to watch my boys struggle, learn, and succeed. I offer advice but have learned over the years that kids need room to experiment on their own. They each ultimately develop their own ways of approaching the task at hand. Right now, some are all about dramatic effect (4 and 6) and the other is all about experience-based efficiencies (12). Eden asked me at one point today, “Papa, how do you say ‘Smarter, not harder’ In Latin?” I laughed and wondered why.

“Because I think that’s my work motto.”

That one’s going places. 

– Joshua


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