Turning 13 is a milestone in everyone's life. You're finally considered a teenager and you've been waiting for that title since you were little. I don't remember a lot about my 13th birthday but I do remember the one gift I was dreading, a weed wacker. Now, I knew this was my inevitable future and after years of watching my sisters help cut the grass (they also suffered the same 13th birthday gift), it was my turn.

I don't remember how I felt the first time I was sent out to go weed wack but I'm assuming it was something like this:

I'm also assuming that my dad stood inside watching me like this:

Years later and I am 19 years old and still out there weed-whacking every spring-fall. Of course, I didn't get this wonderful gift without expecting some lessons to come along with it.

One thing I learned was that if you're going to do something, you might as well do it right the first time. When I first started weed wacking, it was hard. I have a pretty large, slightly hilly yard so walking up and down it in the summer heat wasn't fun (I mean it still isn't but I think I've become accustomed to it). I was tired, hot, and sick of lugging my weed wacker around so I'd sometimes "miss" a spot or two in hopes of finishing early.

Yeah, that never worked. Every time I tried to skip out on a tree or two my dad would immediately notice. I would hear his lawnmower pull up to the back door and hear it shut off and that's when I knew I wasn't off the hook. Although, sometimes I would attempt to hide in hopes that if he didn't see me he would forget about the tragic weed-ridden weeping willow in the front yard.

That never worked. I would always have to go back out there and finish the job I started. Now, I realized that I can still work fast and do a good job to get out of the heat. I just have to take some long strides in between trees.

Something else I learned was responsibility. I mean I had chores every day but those were always wildcards but I knew if I came home from school in the spring or fall and it was nice outside, I was going to weed wack. I learned how to prioritize my time if I wanted to hang out with friends. And I learned that, if I do an extra good job and it doesn't rain, I may have three or four days without weed-whacking instead of just two.

Yard work will never be my "chore of choice" but if I ever need to remind myself how to do hard work, catch me outside with my week wacker in hand and a look of despair on my face.