When my wife and I bought our first house a year-and-a-half ago, I remember gazing at the front lawn like Simba surveying his kingdom.
Everything the light touches is mine (as long as it’s in my property line), I thought, And it’s going to be beautiful.
I was going to be the one on the block with the perfect lawn. Well-manicured, green, lush, and trimmed. Always trimmed. It was going to be picture-perfect. It was going to be done right. It was going to be suburbia.
For a year, that was the case. I mowed my yard every week. I watered it almost daily. I trimmed the hedges, pruned the trees, and laid new mulch. If my neighborhood had a “yard of the month,” I would have gotten it. My yard was a horticultural Kardashian.
Then came this summer. And my yard is now horrible.
I’m writing part of this post from home and I’m looking out at it right now. There’s one patch of crab grass that comes up to my belly button in the front. And the back? The grass is so high it would be considered a redwood jungle to the characters in “A Bug’s Life.” I’ve gone from “yard of the month” to disgrace of the month. It’s been bugging me. A lot.
A year ago, my incredible wife gave birth to that little girl, and this last year my priorities have shifted.
That was until this weekend when I got some perspective. It happened as my 1-year-old daughter ran around the front yard in nothing but a diaper while wielding a plastic baby spoon like a fly swatter. A smile on her face so innocently cheesy. That’s when I realized: My yard doesn’t matter. And believing I found my value in the color of my grass was a lie.
See, the reason I haven’t been able to keep up with my yard like I used to is because life happened. My daughter happened. A year ago, my incredible wife gave birth to that little girl, and this last year my priorities have shifted.
My daughter, one of the best things that ever happened to me, doesn’t care about my stupid yard. She cares about laughing, about being pushed in her Radio Flyer, and about playing peek-a-boo. She cares about a sippy cup full of milk. She cares about snuggling when it’s time for bed and reading “Llama Llama Nighty Night.” She cares about playing with her “friends” at church.
I’m going to look back on the moments that matter.
In the grand scheme of things — in the grand scheme of life — I’m not going to look back on this year and think, I’m awesome because my grass was green and a perfect 2-inches-high. No, I’m going to look back on this year and think about my wife’s amazing ability to juggle being a mom and owning her own business. I’m going to look back at watching my daughter learn to walk, and then turn that walk into a run. I’m going to look back on the moments that matter.
The grass can wait.