The only real fun I had at the park was the few minutes they were on the tire swing. At least they weren't at the tops of any trees (grandma's most vivid dread) - or a climbing frame (which is just about as bad). Watching a tire swing is bliss. Watching small children on large trees constitutes torture.
The mother, a very pretty and stylish kind of girl, said simply, "No. I just go with my child's sense of what he is able to do. For instance he wants to slide down the fire pole but is still too afraid. Which means he isn't ready. So he won't do it. So I don't worry."
This is entirely sensible, of course. And admirable. And has been said many times by the lovely daughter herself.
But somehow I remain - uncertain.
Just look what I have to endure (see the small hand reaching ABOVE THE TREETOP?)
She has now become inseparable from another little inveterate climber who actually BROKE HER ARM falling from a tree back home. The first thing she said afterward was, "Daddy when can I climb the tree again?"
I suppose there is some comfort in knowing how happy she is whenever she is climbing. She is, in fact, ecstatic. It reminds me of Eric Liddell, the Scottish runner who in 1924 said that God had made him fast. And that he felt God's pleasure when he ran. I see that in this small one. Absolute joy in the climb. One day she will likely be phoning us from the top of Everest, or something.
"Grandma!" she will say excitedly from her great height. "I made it! I can see the world!"
And I will surely say, "Oh well done you! We are so proud!"
When that day comes, what will that one little tree have mattered in the great scheme of things? Just a drop in the bucket.
(All the same, I'm going to keep the iPhone ready, just in case. In a pinch, I can always call 9-1-1.)
See you along the way!
Two blondies on their way to Everest