July 5, 2002 - Friday
I held Jeremy as I mowed the lawn early this evening. It was the second or third time I've done that with him and he got that same wonderful blank stare of complete bewilderment that Harry used to get the first summer we lived here. Sometimes he'd look lengthily at the ground going by and I'd have to look down to see whether he'd fallen asleep, but mostly he'd stare forward in some sort of amazement, not even noticing if I leaned forward to look at his face.
Then, Harry wanted his turn. Harry still rides the tractor when I mow the lawn, but not all that often. His enthusiasm has waned and when he does ride the times are inevitably shorter and that's OK. He's getting bigger and sitting still is harder now. And so it was this evening. Indeed, he probably only wanted to ride because he saw his brother getting a chance. And, after a couple uneventful long runs across the lawn in straight rows, Harry started becoming more animated and talking about something. Of course, I had no idea what it was and couldn't hear a thing he was saying above the din of the engine, but I kind of assumed he was done and was ready to get off.
Now, I'm still not sure what he was talking about, but about a minute later he reached for and grab the steering wheel as he does so often when the tractor is sitting quietly in the garage. I held on and kept the tractor going straight to finish the row (another 15-20 seconds), but I knew that trying to stay on a straight and narrow course to mow the lawn after that wasn't going to be all that successful. So, once we finished the row, I disengaged the mower and let Harry go it himself. I don't think there's much doubt that he knew right away that he was in charge and, save the weight of the wheels, I hardly had to help him physically, although I did on several occasions frantically point toward trees and large rocks directly in our path. Harry seemed to get it and laughed and turned.