Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Have Legs. Must Climb.
This page tells a story about Andrew from our beach trip in June. Here's what I wrote:
You first played on this ropes course last summer. You were 2 and this was right up your alley. You loved climbing on anything and being let loose in this maze of slides, suspension bridges and ladders was a dream come true.
Last year, I went with you.
This year I didn’t.
The first couple of times that worked out well. You knew what to do and where to go and how to make it through the ropes course by yourself. But after the first time back on, I could tell something was up. It wasn’t enough anymore. You needed a bigger challenge.
I could tell because after you came flying down the two story slide at the end, you would run around looking for the next thing. But there was no next thing. You had finished.
On our last night at the beach, we went one last time. Granddaddy bought you tickets and we set you free in the ropes course. We watched you gleefully climb and jump and run and put your heart and soul into exploring.
As you started down the long slide at the end of the ropes course, we saw something click. You stopped yourself on the slide. You sat there, midway down the slide thinking. We could tell that you knew this was the end and moreover, that you were not ready for it to end.
There was a line of children waiting to go down the slide behind you. But you just sat there. We tried hollering and encouraging you back down the slide. But you knew better.
You turned around and began to climb. You climbed all the way up the slide so that you could keep playing in the ropes course. You ran back and forth on the suspension bridges as we yelled for you to come down. Finally, Dad climbed up after you and plucked you off.
You didn’t stop crying until we had gotten you back to the room and in your jammies. Then you feel asleep, exhausted from the anguish.
When this happened, I was first joyfully surprised thinking, “Look how clever he is!” And then I was embarrassed and frustrated as I heard other parents say things like, “Look! There’s a boy stuck up there!” And then, as we carried you home, kicking and screaming, I was mortified.
Now I look back and think: “What a funny story. How very, very Andrew.” You love exerting yourself. You love solving problems. You think of things before I do all of the time. And those are all wonderful things. But, so is listening to your mama.
Maybe in the future, we can find some sort of compromise.