Not too long ago I saw an advertisement for two local boys who wanted to do some landscaping. I viewed the advertisement skeptically thinking that two boys, juniors in high school, would even know how to weed and mulch flower beds much less be any good at it. After a long discussion with my husband, he won and we hired the two boys to weed and mulch my flower beds and do some landscaping.
The boys arrived when they said they would and I took them around to the areas I wanted done. I showed them that the beds along my driveway, both sides of my sidewalk, the beds in front of my porch and on the south side of my house along to the west side of the house and then the area along my deck. To me it looked like a daunting task and I was sure they would decline to take the job. I told them I would not pay by the hour but by they job; they were in agreement much to my surprised. I told them I’d leave them alone to discuss the price and after they had one in mind they should knock at the door.
It wasn’t long before I heard the timid knock on my door. They had a price. “I want to be fair so if you think it is too much please tell us.” The price was more than fair and I told them they had the job. Thinking they would be starting the next day, I was surprised when they got the equipment they needed to do the job out of the back of their car trunk.
The boys told me they thought it would take 8 solid hours of work and told me when they would be at my house doing the work. They said, “we will be here 4 hours today and 4 hours tomorrow.” I nodded, maybe even grinning to myself a little. that these two 17-year-old kids would be pulling weeds for 4 hours in a row and come back the next day to do it again. Needless to say I was more than a little skeptical.
They worked steady that first day, stopping only to take a few gulps of water and ask me if I wanted certain dead flowers removed or was I wishing they would spring up again. At the end of the 4 hours, they cleaned up the debris and assured me they would be back the next day.
Walking around my house I was surprised at how much they accomplished but I was still skeptical that they would be back that next day to do more. Once again they arrived right on schedule but the job took longer than they expected and the 4 hours passed into 5 and then 6. They were working with flashlights in the dark when I finally came out to send them home. “No ma’am, we promised you that it would be done today and a promise is a promise.” I shook my head, these two boys becoming more and more endearing to my heart. “No,” I said, “finish up tomorrow or the next day.”
The boys left and I smiled to myself thinking, “now these boys have integrity.” They did indeed return the next day and worked about 1 hour longer to finish up. Afterwards they asked me to do a “walk through” with them to see if I had any more suggestions or if I wanted it done differently. I didn’t. It was perfect.
Yes, I know all they did was pull up some weeds, move some dirt around and spread some mulch. That is all they did physically, but the lesson in life they gave me was far greater than the money I gave them. They renewed my faith in our future and the youth of America. There is more to our youth than the negative stories we see on the news; there are eager young boys slowly turning into wonderful young men.