When I venture to the playground with my 4 kids I have to have my head on a constant swivel. The youngest isn’t mobile yet but the other 3 run around like lunatics. It seems they have an unspoken rule that they will be the furthest away from each other as possible at all times. This makes it extra challenging to keep an eye on them and I’m always thankful when I have an extra set of eyes helping me watch.
This one particular Saturday my brother-in-law volunteered to go with me and the kids to check out a park nearby that we had never been to. As per usual, the 3 kids each proceeded to go do something far away from the others. At least I had my brother-in-law to help out. This playground was designed for kids ages 5-12 so I was grateful to have the help in watching the kids as there were some elements where they could have gotten hurt.
One such element was a giant boulder/wall that doubled as a bridge between two other platforms. It was a unique setup that I’ve never seen before. It was cool but it also provided an excellent opportunity for someone to fall off a 4 foot high rock. I had been watching my 5 year old go back and forth across it several times and began to get comfortable with him being up there. That’s when out of the corner of my eye I saw him hop from one side to the other on one foot.
Not wanting him to take that risk again I walked over to him and asked him what that one footed hop was all about. He looked at me, got real serious for a moment, leaned in and very matter-of-factly told me:
“What I’m trying to do is make myself look like a big kid so people don’t think I’m 5, so they think I’m 6, or maybe even 7.”
Oh to be a kid again. I just smiled and held his hand and calmly replied:
“Well, what I’m trying to do is look like a good Dad and keep you from breaking your arm. So could you please not do that again?”