Parenting Blog

A Life Lived On A Lawn


A lawn is more than grass and dirt. It’s more than the trees and bushes that dot the landscape of the spaces behind and around a home.

A lawn is a place where kids grow up, where they have adventures both real and imaginary, and where family ties are bound tighter.

Having been a rather lazy indoor boy in my youth and a city apartment dweller in my young adulthood, I entered into domestic suburban homeownership with much hesitation. Until I mowed my own lawn, a square-ish near half-acre, in the spring of 2002, I’d never even touched a mower outside of sitting on a shiny Cub Cadet in a giant home improvement store I truthfully had no business being in.

It didn’t take me long though to see the promise of a stellar lawn. So I worked to make and keep my own green patch of the American dream a liveable and lovable place to be as I got my lawn legs (kinda like sea legs but, you know, on land) and later, when I became a dad.

My daughters played their first game of tee ball back there, and learned how to swing a golf club.

They had their first ever picnic on a blanket in the freshly mowed grass, tried painting outside for the first and last time, and our lawn has been the sight of their curious indoor tabby cat’s exciting nature exploration.

cub cadet OWTK lawn goals wild cat

Nature cat!

We celebrated birthdays with moon bounces inflated on our lawn and soaring into the sky, we snuggled up on that lawn, and the backyard once played host to a live concert by a since Grammy nominated musician.

Cub Cadet Concert in backyard

Grammy nominated Billy Kelly performing in our backyard.


The square-ish yard of our modest home was also the backdrop for a photography session with my wife upon graduating magna cume laude from university and few years ago.

That near half-acre is a part of our family, a literal branch of our tree.

After 15 years in this house with that lawn and 13 years of raising children out there on it, my two girls are still making use of the yard today as a teen and tween.

cub cadet OWTK lawn goals

Two daughters, growing up together in our back yard.

The oldest will retreat to a quiet lush green patch with a pile of books on a warm day. She’ll huddle up out there for hours, only returning inside for snacks and a refill of her water bottle. The youngest, conversely, sees the lawn as a source not of relaxation but of wild endeavor. They each have lawn goals.

For those with their own lawn goals in Des Moines:

My 10-year-old will build in the shed, tinkering with spare parts she’s collected, and explore every inch of the lawn in an effort to…honestly, I usually have no idea what that crazy kid is doing. I only know that she’s always doing it outside with a smile on her face and a song on her tongue as she traipses back and forth in the backyard.

Every year around this time my girls and I will work to bring our lawn back to life, to make all of the above adventure and activity possible. We patrol the yard to collect fallen sticks and branches from the harsh winter storms, reconnect the playset equipment, and we bring out and dust off the patio furniture from the shed. I’ll fire up the mower that makes my lawn, their lawn, our beautiful lawn the fun space it will be all summer long. Sometimes I’ll cut math equations into the yard for them to solve or a simple maze for them to follow, but whatever it is we end up doing, we are always doing it together out back on the lawn.

That time I mowed a math equation into the lawn

This spring, Cub Cadet wants to know how you bring your lawn to life. Entering this contest is simple and the prize is so very sweet. Share a picture or video highlighting your yard, and tell how you bring your lawn to life and why your yard is worthy of #LawnGoals. Approved entries are entered for a chance to win one Cub Cadet RZT L 42 KH Lap Bar Zero-Turn Rider (ARV $2,399.99), hotel accommodations for two, and two tickets to attend an NHRA event in the summer of 2017.

Simply post a photo or video to your Instagram or Twitter page using #LawnGoals and #Sweepstakes to showcase how you brought your lawn to life this spring. Tagging your Instagram or Twitter post with #LawnGoals and #Sweepstakes will automatically submit your Lawn Goals post for consideration.

Get all the details here on the Cub Cadet #LawnGoals contest page.

I have partnered with Life of Dad and Cub Cadet for this Lawn Goals campaign, but my opinions are my own.


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