It's been a long week around here. Mike has been averaging 17 hour work days, and I think we are on our 7th day of 100 degree plus weather. Not a great combination for someone who makes a living working outside.
This last weekend, with deadlines looming and the mercury hovering right around 104, Mike worked all Saturday afternoon and evening alone in the heat. Mike's positive attitude and his ever-optimistic outlook were even more admirable this last weekend, because much of what he was doing was making up for a few "oversights" from some of his employees. As he did a couple days last week, Saturday night Mike worked until after the sun had gone down (which is saying something when the sun doesn't even set until after 9pm!)
Mike did the same thing again on Sunday, except longer hours than Saturday. This time though, he had some good people willing to step in and help him. Definite blessings.
(The employees were well beyond regular hours and over-time and Mike knew he needed to give them the weekend to rest to be ready to hit it hard again this week.)
Enough about the not-so-good part about the weekend.
Saturday afternoon, Mike said that if any of the children wanted to come work, he had plenty of work to keep them busy. (Fortunately, Mike was working about 3 minutes from our house.) Luke is given the opportunity to work with Mike frequently, and it is rare that Mike would extend the invitation to the younger children. (Construction sites aren't exactly the safest place for children!) As soon as I mentioned the option to the children, Joshua was up, out of his chair and changing into work clothes before I finished my sentence.
You see, Joshua has really been into working and earning money lately. He has had his eye on one particular toy, and as soon as he had enough money for it declared, "Actually, I will wait until I have more money so I when I buy it I will still have more money left." Quite astute!
Joshua was proud as could be when I dropped him off at the job-site on Saturday evening to begin working with Mike. To be honest, I didn't have a lot of faith in how long he would last. Not that I didn't think he could work hard, he really can. But it was a very hot Saturday evening. Bedtime was just a couple hours away!
Apparently, Joshua worked very hard. Mike was extremely impressed with his little 6 year old work companion and his attention to the tasks given to him. Joshua and Mike returned home late Saturday night. While Mike talked to the neighbor (lining up people for Sunday), I bathed a very dirty Joshua.
When Mike finally arrived up in the bathroom to shower, Joshua was down the hall getting pajamas on. Mike pulled out a $20 bill from his wallet and told me to give it to Joshua. Then, he quickly changed his mind and said he wanted to give it to Joshua himself.
Joshua was summoned to the bathroom and given a $20 bill. I wish I'd have had a video of the little exchange. When he was first handed it, he had a little puzzled look on his face. He doesn't get $20 bills very often (if ever!), so I'm not quite sure he knew exactly how much he had. I told him, "That is $20 one dollars." And there in all its glory was Joshua's trademark, ear-to-ear smile.
(I'm still not sure if Mike was too tired to realize the hourly rate he was paying a 6 year old, or if he was just so happy to have had some help.)
(Unfortunately this photo was the next day, and the smile isn't quite as big.)
Joshua finally decided he had enough money now to purchase his toy, and still have some left over for left-overs sake.
I should have taken photo after photo of Joshua walking into the little western tack and feed store and picking out his much desired cowboy and stage wagon set.
I should have recorded his little voice that climbed into the car saying, "I have wanted this for a lonG, lonG (emphasis on the G) time since it was cold weather and we came here with Luke to buy goat feed."
Instead, the only record we have is this photo of Joshua holding his beloved $20 bill, and a broken stage wagon toy that Drew threw in a little fit of jealousy the day after its procurement.
It's okay though, despite my super-glue job not quite working, Joshua-much like his father with an ever-optimistic attitude told me, "It will be okay. It's just the handle that is broken, the cowboy just has to hold onto the horses' reins instead."