Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bringing up Boys: Doing Dangerous Things

"This moat stinks! It stinks like Dog Poo! It’s one great big poo pond!"
"Oh my God it’s up to my wellies arrrggghhhh!"
And I stand there silently biting my lip trying hard to prevent myself from rushing down to the edge to rescue him.
He doesn’t need it but he might.
I am as taut as a wire ready to plunge into the pond of poo when he slips and falls in.
He’s rescuing some footballs which have been lurking round the irises for what seems like weeks nay months. Normally this has been my remit. Rescue footballs from moats, trees, dogs but today he has decided it’s up to him to get them back.
He thundered out of the house in his overall and wellies as I was out checking on the chickens, with his younger brother in tow.
“We’re on a mission!” he hollered at me, grinning from ear to ear. A devilish light in his eyes.
The moat is quite low at present and there is a crust of dryish mud and dead iris stems and leaves covering the bits near the edge. But it is a deep moat all the same. As he plunges down the steep bank it takes all my will power not to hurtle after him and drag him away from danger.
But I stand still and nonchalantly lean up against a tree with my arms folded saying that it might be an idea to use a stick.
“Yeh, cool! Thanks Mum,” he says leaning precariously forward to grab a half-submerged one about a foot from the edge. I clench my fists and dig my nails into the palms of my hand.
“Got it darling?”
“Nearly Mum, just…a…little…more… got it!”
I relax.
He starts to make his way forward.
I am on high alert again
“Try using the stick to see how deep it is it may be deeper than you think!” I say as calmly as possible.
He prods the ground and then leans a little on the stick, it zots down and he nearly falls. But before I can shoot forward he scrambles back righting himself and laughing slightly nervously. “Wow that was close!”
“Why not try going round the back there and making your way forwards to the balls rather than stretching for them from the side,” I suggest hoping that the route I prefer them to take is slightly less precarious.
The boys cautiously now make their way around the edge of the moat and disappear among the irises. I can just about see the top of their heads.
“Euughh, it stinks!” says Bog Boy hastily backing out and retiring up the bank to the top of the moat.
“Good boy Bog Boy!” I think, thanking the gods that he obviously has a strong sense of self-preservation.
“This moat stinks! It stinks like Dog Poo! It’s one great big poo pond!
Oh my God it’s up to my wellies arrrggghhhh!”
He grins up at me and then he focuses on the problem at hand. Holding tightly on to some Iris stems he leans forward and stretches out with the stick to pull in the balls. One in, then the other but the tennis ball is just that further out of reach. He takes a step forward right to the edge of the dry bit and I hold my breath.
“Yeah! Got It!!”
It was an important moment. The moment when The Boy did something for himself. He’s growing up and doesn’t need me quite as much as he did.
I Am So Proud!


Spencer Park said...

Well done The Boy!

Tattie Weasle said...

Spncer Park - it was truly well done but I think I need a sit down now!

Rob-bear said...

Yup. The sense of adventure, of trying something new, of testing one's limits.
Not only Weasles, but Bear cubs, too.

About Last Weekend said...

Lovely! Well done on your part letting him do it too. All too often as parents we want to do the pain away and just get it over...

elizabethm said...

Well done to both boy and his mother I say!

mrsnesbitt said...

Sounds like a moment of sheer element. Even now hubby has moments of adventure/thrills and achievement. Usually involving some dangerous element - be it a fire, an axe a ladder! lol!

Go on you know you want to...


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