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A few days ago I was out on the Toro riding lawn mower and was, well, cutting the grass (I know, big surprise.) Just before finishing up, I notice my eleven-year-old daughter excitingly waving me down. I threw the throttle all the way down so I could hear her. While staring at her feet, she finally asks the question.
“Dad, can I take a turn on the mower?”
I smiled and shut the Toro off. While she sat in the grass, I showed her how to start the riding lawn mower (which isn’t difficult but we all know that there’s a right way, a wrong way, and Dad’s way) and I carefully explained what makes the thing go and, more importantly, stop. After I suggested a safe backyard route, I helped her into the saddle and took a few steps back to watch.
The attentive student was off and driving, stiff-backed and beaming. Of course, it wasn’t long before the thirteen-year-old appeared from wherever he was lurking wanting a turn of his own. He already had his “lawn mower license to drive” so I asked that he wait just a little bit more.
From my seat on steps of the deck, I watched them take turns running laps around the yard. I suppose I was around the same age 25 years ago when my Aunt showed me how to drive the Deere. I remember thinking how expansive three acres looked and how strong the smell of cut grass could be. I will never forget the steady drone of her John Deere or what that little bit of freedom tasted like.
I spent that entire summer stiff-backed and beaming.
How about you? Do you have a license to drive story?
 

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