After Lilly’s fall I knew I would need to be intentional about not acting on my desire to protect the girls from…well….everything. I know we can’t bubble wrap our children. I like to think I have a fairly level head when it comes to allowing my children to experience the world while still keeping them safe. So when I saw that Trinity had climbed to the top of a tree, on small branches that didn’t seem big enough to hold her and below were blacktop, an electric utilities box, and a sidewalk, I tried to stifle the panic as I said “Wow! What a great climber! Okay, it’s time to come down now!”
There were a plethora of ideas that went through my head on her downward climb. Do I tell her not to climb the tree? What if she fell and hit her head on any of the very hard surfaces below? But I can’t tell her not to climb trees. What’s the point of childhood if you can’t experience the thrill of challenging yourself and conquering your fears on things like tree-climbing? Last year she wouldn’t go higher than the lowest branches so I knew this was a point of excitement and accomplishment that she had pushed herself to go higher. In the end I settled on the following: She could climb the tree as long as she wore her bike helmet. If she fell and broke a limb, I could live with that, (Not that I want that to happen!) but at least she won’t crack her head open. We also had a chat about staying on one of the three larger branches and avoiding the small ones that won’t bear weight well.
I’m sure there are many parenting decisions I will mess up along the way but I think (hope!) I got this one right. That afternoon, Trin wrote a poem about her tree climbing in her journal. She gave me permission to share it here:
When you climb a tree it feels scary
like a spider crawling up your back
and it also is so exciting
like it’s your birthday.
It is so fun when you can show everybody
how high you are.
Seriously…frame that awesome poem with that cool picture!
That’s a great idea!!
Yup, love the poem and the picture. I agree with Kathie; it’s put-it-in-a-frame worthy. I always loved climbing trees. There was one in my backyard that was like my own private place, above the world, where I could see forever. I love the way you handled the parental tension between letting her experience things and staying safe too–the eternal parental dilemma.
This is Trinity: It is very fun to climb trees and nice post mommy
Thanks baby girl. I’m so proud of you!