My fingers fumbled with the laces of my sneakers, quickly trying to tie them together. After the two were together, I got up and put on my favorite dark blue sweatshirt and opened the door to my front lawn.
Even though it was only the first week of October leaves upon leaves were on the ground, covering most of the grass and parts of the driveway. I walked over to where my younger brother was, passing our dad who was on his phone most likely reading the New York Times. The seven-year-old boy was leaving our small red shed and brought with him two rakes; one for him and one for me. After closing the door, he turned to me and handed me the plastic red rake, keeping the yellow one to himself. "Thanks, Toby," I said. He nodded and said, "Yup," and then we both went to work.
My younger brother was not usually this passionate about anything that requires manual labor. However, when it comes to leaf piles in the fall, he can never resist.
We start our mission to a semi well-made leaf pile. Going back and forth, I walked and raked through the leaves to make a pile near the side of the driveway. Toby made truck and excavation noises with his mouth while moving the leaves.
After a few minutes, my fingers started to stiff up and react to the crisp afternoon air. The week before was very warm and sunny outside in the afternoon, but the sky was grayer and the air did not let you stay uncovered for very long. I brought my fingers up to my mouth and breathed on them, the warm air making them feel less numb.
While I was doing that, Toby was trying to convince our dad to come and help. However, all my dad did was shake his head and chuckled while saying half-jokingly, "I'm mowing the lawn tomorrow so you guys gave me something I don't have to do tomorrow." He then proceeded to go back on his phone making Toby aggravated. I laughed a bit and kept raking the leaves.
An hour had passed by since we started raking and the leaf pile was still very small. However, Toby and I were both exhausted and a bit cold from working for that long. The pile was not big enough for me to jump in and enjoy, but it was Toby's perfect size for his second grade body. Toby realized this too.
"Can I jump in?" he asked sweetly. 'If only he was this nice and sweet all the time' I thought to myself. I looked at him and smiled. "Yeah. Go for it, dude!" Toby pushed me a bit out of annoyance to me. "Don't call me dude!" he raised his voice. I laughed in return. Toby glared at me before he walked back a few paces and then started to run towards the pile. He jumped...
...and landed right in the center of the pile, flattening it out. I noticed he started to breath onto his hands to warm them up as I had done before. I walked to the leaf pile, him still breathing on his hands. "Do you want to go inside for some hot chocolate?" I asked quietly. "Yeah!" He replied. And we both went inside away from the chilly afternoon air.