Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring is Here!

Spring is here, and how do I know? Because I looked out the window this afternoon to see birds in the trees, a bunny hopping in my neighbor's yard, and my 11-year-old tied to a large rope that was slung over a branch of our backyard tree. His 10-year-old friend attached to the other side.

Now, they weren't attempting a double suicide (although that might have been the accomplishment if it had continued). They were attempting to climb the tree using the rope. One child stood firmly on the ground while the other used his leverage to climb the rope up the tree.

It struck me as a bad idea, but I wasn't sure. See, just about everything they do strikes me as a bad idea. So, I wasn't sure if it was really a bad idea, or just me being an overprotective mother. I called my husband and described the scene.

"What you're seeing," he told me, "is what you would call a 'bad idea in action'."

What I was really afraid of, though, is that they would succeed in getting into the tree. The first branch was high enough that I knew they wouldn't be able to climb back down. Then, that would be an even bigger problem because I'd have to call my friend and tell her that we had treed her son!

After that what would I do? Call the fire department for a rescue? Do they rescue hapless little boys who climb trees with ropes, or do they just tell you you're own your own with this one?

So, I nixed the idea of tying people to the rope for leverage and they spent another 40 minutes trying to figure out what they could do with the rope. a large tree and a group of 8 children of various sizes and ages. Finally, they moved on.

Now, they're out there playing a wiffle ball game that they organized on their own and have made totally inclusive. It's moments like these that I absolutely love my kids and their friends. They've divided themselves into two teams, marked their bases and have adapted the game to prosthetic legs (two kids), 1 wheelchair, a missing arm and some limited hearing, and none of it matters. They're just playing away on this beautiful spring day, and not one of those disabilities matter -- to the kids who have the disabilities or the kids who don't. It's just a great thing to watch.

Of course, we've already had our first injury, yet another sign of spring. Our princess came running in yesterday with blood dripping off her big toe. There were no tears, only shear fascination that a toe could bleed so heavily. It turns out she stubbed her toe on a neighbor's driveway while racing a kid who was riding his bike. Why not run a barefoot race against someone riding a bike?

The real sign of spring, though, is my children's love/hate relationship with the great outdoors. They love to be outside right now, but then after about an hour, they come running and panting into the house.

"It's just SOOOO hot out there!"

What am I going to do with them in August?

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