Carpets, electricity, and vacuums eliminated the simple task of sweeping for a young child today. Thankfully, last fall I stumbled upon a long-forgotten alternative, the carpet sweeper. We certainly never had one in our home growing up, and I don’t even remember seeing one at Grandma’s, but Lucille Ball came to mind right away when I saw it propped in the corner and tagged for sale. My garage sale habit brought me to a shiny blue Amway Super Sweep for 50 cents. All metal construction, no plastic parts to break (unlike the options available today), brushes that still rotated, and dust and bugs to boot. And so for 50 cents, a chuckle from the seller, and with the gleam of excitement in the pioneer boys eyes, we scored our sweeper.
I could barely get it clean before the boys were pulling it out of my hands. “What’s it for? How do I use it?” they chirped. Before I could finish the simple demonstration, they were off. They ran around our home, which features a circular connection of rooms, while I patiently waited my turn. The vacuum is superior for cleanliness, of course, but the carpet sweeper is an excellent opportunity for the boys to sweep up and help mid-week. It’s lightweight and easy for them to control and fun for them to push and run after.
Pioneer children had chores that contributed to the families success and their own pride. I see no difference in the children of today, they almost always ask to help and I’m always happy to find a way that they can be successful.