Independent Contractors



“Dad, I need some money.” Ian said one to me one winter evening.

“No, you need a job. Earn your own money.”

“But, I’m too young. Nobody will hire me.”

I glanced through the window at the falling snow. “Not a problem. Nature has provided.”

The next morning after breakfast, we put on our heavy clothes and tramped from house to house. But, no one wanted to pay to have their driveway cleared. Hours later, we gave up and headed home.

We stopped in front of our house. “Hey, guys, let’s shovel our own driveway. We can show Mom how good we are.”

I set my shovel to the pavement and pushed. James and Ian followed my example and, for a while, we made good progress.

James stopped and held his shovel. “Dad, I have to go to the bathroom.”

“OK, but hurry back.”

Shortly after James disappeared, Ian spoke. “Dad, I’m thirsty.”

“All right. Don’t be too long.”

I wiped my brow when I finished and stepped inside, but I wasn’t prepared for what greeted me. Both boys held a steaming mug of hot chocolate while they watched TV.

“Sandi, what’s this? They were supposed to help finish.”

“Both told me you said they could.”

My back and arms ached. “Those little skunks! They said they’d return.”

“Did the boys say it or did you?”

I groaned. Once again, their disability smacked me, right in the face. I’d assumed they’d understood my meaning, but hadn’t made sure.

Sandi glanced at our sons. “Don’t forget to pay them. They did some work, too.”

My shoulders slumped and Sandi wrapped her arms around me. “Come and sit in the kitchen,” she said. “I saved some cocoa for you, just the way you like it, and I’ll give you a back rub.”

 

William R. Bartlett lives in Belton with his family.

 

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