January 26, 2009

This morning it is bright, clear and cold; perfect sledding weather.  Maybe this afternoon I’ll go and watch.

As a child, we would bundle up and hike about a mile to a long steep slope.  At the bottom of the precipice was a raging stream the was so wide and ferocious it was never frozen over, regardless of how cruel and cold the winter.  Cattle would be swept away if they ventured into the tempest.  I am amazed my parents let us get so close to such a danger; we really felt adventurous.

Not long ago I revisited this desolate, dangerous place.  It was about three hundred yeads from our back door.  There was an elevation change that might conceal a tall man, and at the bottom of the dip there was a small trickleing stream about three feet wide.

Perspective changes as we age.   And with that change we can see the safety (or the danger) that our child may not.  But for them to mature we must let them see and experience things from their perspective not ours.   We need to help our kids face the adventures in life without all of the dangers.  We need to let them get close to the raging stream and stretch their own boundaries, yet stand close enough so they know that they can reach out a hand and immediately be safe.  We need to let them wander far and wide, to let them climb as high as they can, and still be home in time for lunch.

So take you child someplace really dangerous this week, like a park.  But stay near by, just in case.


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