I love it that when my boys go out to play, in their minds they are going out to work. They have business plans. Entrepreneurial dreams and visions. They have a chain of command and they are constantly reviewing the progress made on the many projects they have going on at any time.

kids tractor

I am happy to report that over the last few weeks the nice days have outnumbered the nasty ones by far. Though winter likes to creep up on us and yell an unwelcome BOO! every couple of weeks and will continue to rear its ugly head in this way until the end of May, we are so happy when March arrives because it means that there are generally at least a handful of lovely days in which to play outside and begin to once again let yourself imagine that there are actually other seasons besides winter. So the boys have been spending every minute they can out of doors, giving them some much needed quality time spent in the dirt and giving me just an eensy weensy bit of something akin to serenity.

Yes, Spring is in the air. See, here’s proof:




Wonderful beautiful proof. But I digress.

As I mentioned, these boys don’t really “go out to play”, they go out to work on their projects. Mankind was made to work… only the toil and the sweat of the brow part of it came along as a curse… but for children when they go out to work in the manner in which I am speaking of, it is work done purely for pleasure, perhaps as close as one will ever come to understanding the kind of work that I’m sure we will be doing in heaven someday, because I assure you they are reaping no earthly harvest because of it other than the sheer pleasure that it brings. Here is a small list of some of their projects:

  • Dig pits
  • “Grow worms”
  • Hammer things
  • Decide who is “Chief” for the day
  • Boss the non-chiefs around
  • Move rock piles from here to there and then from there to here again
  • Get dirty (okay… well, maybe it’s not an objective but they accomplish it well.)

I just love to watch them work. I love to hear them interact and discuss the hierarchy of chiefs. I love to hear the import that they have in their voices as they discuss their plans for the worm business that they have recently conceived.



Even the little one is convinced he is doing really important work…

Super Important Work




He has a very interested companion in his co-worker, Bruce.


And then someone has to drive the stuff away of course…


Driving T

But I think driving is just a temporary job for this one. He tells me he is going to be an artist when he grows up.

If any of my children have the possibility of becoming a tradesman, this one has got to be the man. Though school is sometimes torment for him, so much does he despise sitting in his desk, he has the tenacity of a pit bull when working on a project or trying to solve a problem. His determination amazes me sometimes.


He studies the problem carefully…





And then he gets to work.




He makes the best of a situation that requires a hammer when no hammer can be found. Yes, it’s a broken mini-hockey stick.



He scrutinizes his work…


And eventually the job is done…


It’s very serious work, don’t ya know. And it is… Check out this interesting article about the importance of good old-fashioned play.

13 thoughts on “Serious Work

  1. Oh I only wish. We still have SOOO much snow there is no way we could even begin to imagine playing with rocks, and I see the boys are not even bundled in layers of winter clothes. Some day my spring will come…
    Actually we got some inched of that white stuff today 😦

  2. Awww! Salena, I feel your pain! Ours is but a temporary repose. March is typically our biggest snow month. It’s been unusually nice this year. I’m sure we are in for a doozy of a blizzard in the next week or so. (((hugs)))

  3. My boys are like this too. They are very big into their work. Lately they’ve been into assigning themselves characters to play in some big day long drama. Lately they’ve been The Hardy Boys.

    The whole time I was reading your post I was thinking, “I need to let her know about those articles on NPR!” Looks like you saw it already. 😉

    Robin’s last blog post..YouTube Tuesday

  4. Spring buds!! Wow. None of those on this side of the continent. Love the rest of the post too, awesome photos. I’m not sure if it’s already done but it would be great if you could publish a blog in a book…nice and easy, and a great way to keep it all forever.

  5. Where is the snow? We can not even get to our dirt…opps I mean our play area. It still has at least 2 feet of snow on it. My boy would do any thing to be able to get at his tonka toys that are out there. Not including all the hot wheels he has hidden in the dirt too.

    Sarah Rogstad’s last blog post..The Search For New Help

  6. Those are great! Do they actually call each other chief?! That’s so funny! I love watching my kids role-play! …and I did catch the “Uncle Martin” in there…! …I’m sure he’s probably “chief” of some plot of land in Heaven…!

  7. Luke was quite interested in your pictures, I didn’t read what you wrote and was going too fast for him to read and he asked. “What are they doing? What’s that? What kind of WORK are they doing?” LOL It must be the way that the mind of a boy works!

    I have to say that your spring has come far quicker than mine. And I am how many hundreds of miles south?!?! What’s up with that? I still have snow and below freezing temps and it actually snowed – straight out of the sky – yesterday! I am flabbergasted! (And a little jealous!) 🙂

    Risa’s last blog post..Cabin Fever

  8. I loved your commentary on play. My boys (9 and 6), most often followed by their 3 year old sister, are outside as often as possible solving the world’s (in their eyes) problems with sticks, balls, and the occasional paper towel core. We’ve tried so hard over the years to eliminate the junk toys and concentrate on providing those toys that let the kids create, pretend and just plain imagine. I think we own every tonka truck type (that could be because I’m a civil engineer and I wanted them 🙂 and every possible sports ball. It’s amazing what they can do with a soccer ball other than play soccer…

    It’s hard to fight the social norm of toys. We do have light sabers and several uni-directional toys, which they still find ways to use for other purposes. I also find that if we read a pirate book, they reenact that for days…same with Treasure Island and such.

    Enjoyed the post. Thanks!

  9. Your boys are way too cute! Your youngest looked so sweet. My 7 mo old son can’t wait to get out [yooohoo Spring! please come soon!]when the sun is out. I’m sure the first thing he’ll do is eat dirt given the chance.

    Have fun in the sun!

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