The Shed Climb

So there is this tree trimming crew that is currently in residence on the playground. These two used to be the construction crew laying pipe in the sandpit. That project, like most big civil engineering projects has been in the works for years. I suppose the crew had to diversify their work scope and go into the tree trimming business. Anyone could see that the trees and bushes around the sandpit are in the way of the construction projects that need to be completed. Anyone.

They use sticks and thin pipes as saws and claws. The thing is, they had only just started their business and hadn't really learned the ropes, so there was a lot of whacking branches loose and pulling off bark on the dogwood. The dogwood was planted by the Tracks class 2006 which marks it as both precious and still young. I told them to go saw on the branch pile in the back of the yard. Off they went and before you knew it they were up on the shed roof with one of the co-oping dads standing below. He had been instructed to hand up the crew's saw-branches once they had "climbed up the tree."

This opportunity, without calling the children over or making it a Big Moment, attracted others. In short order, other children climbed up. But it's important to note that only a handful of children tried it and even fewer climbed to the roof.

One of the climbers, our resident forager scrambled up, ate all the redbud blossoms she could safely reach and scrambled back down without fan fair and never saying a word. The view was not important but those bright tasty blossoms had to be gathered right away, their bloom cycle is so short. The explorer-types, staked their claim and if they had a flag they most certainly would have planted it. They stood, back straight, feet planted and surveyed the land around them. It must be the very same feeling those that summit a peak feel... I did this, I see this, I am in control.

In the meantime, our only job was to watch and hold back, only watching for the possibility of snagging (dresses and shorts are a thing). I also pulled away a loose-ish log. If you cannot navigate the scramble up, a young child will know to stop. If the view from the bottom is overwhelming, a young child will not even attempt the scramble up. If you can get up, you can get down. We do not help anyone to get up, and believe me, children will ask for help and the same thing happens on log crossings, holding a hand is not an option, crawling across is -- it is the direct and personal KNOWING and FEELING that "I have gone too far" that will hold them back and that is a good thing. None of us knows another person's "too far." We can't tell another's personal story. Everyone has to find it for themselves.

And when a person finds his or her "just right" the feeling of success is just right as well.