Three generations of mothers gathered round, as we celebrated Mother's Day at Waldron Park this afternoon; my grandmother (paternal), my mother and the mother of my children. After a picnic dinner, played some baseball with the boys, tennis briefly and then they attacked the play ground. Not content to just take the path well trodden they decided to scale the outside of the slides garnering three responses...
1. "What are you doing?"
2. "But dad said it was okay"
3. "If you fall and break something, it will hurt for a while because we don't have insurance. As long as you are okay with that, go at it."
It started as the boys watched another young adventurer's head pop out the end of the slide. Like a cautious rabbit coming out of his burrow, he cast his gaze here and there to see if there was danger (translate: to see if mom was looking). Seeing the coast was clear, he emerged from with in and began to scale the outside of the slide.
Temptation took hold and my boys turned to see what my response would be. Seeing the smile, they wasted not time in attempting to ascend their Everest. Logan followed the path of the previous climber, including leaping off the top of the slide onto the platform yelling "Touchdown!"
Cole on the other hand got to the first rib of the tube and lost his stride. Flattening himself against the cool plastic, more mass against mass the less the probability of sliding off the side into the mulch of doom, he gasped "help!" His eyes had the desperate look of a drowning man. Getting him to lift himself off his pseudo-safe perch was the hardest, as he had to give up some security to make the next move. Eventually, he was able to make it the rest of the way landing victoriously above with "Touchdown!", and a big smile for daddy.
A few things I hope my boys grasp:
1. Whenever we try something new, it's always great to follow the lead of someone who has been there.
2. Don't wait too late to ask for help. Its better to ask for help and move ahead, than hold onto your pride and fall to your doom. Don't confuse wisdom with weakness. For a time in my life I viewed it as weakness to ask for help, have to keep myself from falling back into that stupidity.
3. When you arrive at the top, remember the people that helped you get there. Also as you get to the top, there is further to fall so watch your step (I know a few bankers who wished they would have remembered that one.)
4. You never really arrive, there are always bigger slides to climb.