Monday, June 04, 2007

The Tree

Yesterday I walked with the boys down to the park at the end of the street. Not long after we got there, Jonathan took off, went over the fence and climbed up on top of a downed tree. I was stunned. This was not like my cautious, staying within boundaries child. The tree is HUGE. We had an amazing wind storm at the end of last November that knocked out power in much of the area for 4 days. This tree fell at that time, broke the fence and put several large holes in the paved sidewalk. The part of the tree in the playground area was presumably cut up and taken away, the fence was repaired, and the sidewalk patched. The part of the tree left on the other side is huge and everything around it is overgrown. It is a Momma’s safety nightmare. In fact, I have wondered for sometime if they were going to do something about it. So, as I sat there in amazement looking at Jonathan, I knew instinctively what inspired him. I walked over from the picnic tables and asked him if Daddy let him go over there. His reply was simply, “Yep!” I asked David-- no, I told David right away he couldn’t go over there and he said, “I know, it is not safe for ME.” I thought about this situation—here is my extremely cautious boy, climbing around being a “boy” and I realized that it is important for a boy to have their dad around. It wasn’t long before another little boy (about 7) who lives in a house right next to the park was out there with Jonathan. This boy goes outside the fence all the time – even before the tree was down. In the past, I had wondered what limits the parents put on the child and his brother because they were not usually out at the park with them (though surely they can see the park from their house). Anyway, the boys began that child appealing game where one child “encourages the other” by saying things like, “You can’t go as far out on this limb as me” and “You can’t get past me (as they are running down the tree trunk).”
NO- this was NOT easy for me to watch. But, I had to smile when Jonathan came over with scratches and scrapes on his leg and said he was all scratched up and it didn’t even hurt. I had to smile when I thought about how Daddy had let him be an adventurous boy. I don’t get how he could let my angel get in harms way (risk a broken leg, a broken arm, snakes in the tall grass, etc)…But, I am thankful he brings out a side in my child I can’t.


leigh ann said...

That's exactly how I feel about Bradley riding a 4-Wheeler yesterday. There are certain things that boys just need to do, and if they didn't have time together with their dads these things would never happen. So while we get frustrated with their seeming lack of common safety sense, they are the ones teaching our future leaders to take risks, that it's okay to get banged up, as long as you get right back up and try again.

And I'm convinced that boys get a few extra supernatural secret service detail!

Carmom said...

I'm just the opposite. I am usually the one that allows my children to take risks, while Matt is the one to worry about them getting hurt. Maybe it's because he is much more of a city boy and me a country girl. Growing up on a nursery and in the woods probably helped that.

Seth said...

I hope they leave that tree there for a couple more months... the boys need a good jungle gym.