On top of the world

Slow Mother Blog - October 10, 2012

Pacha's view from our roof...

We are doing all kinds around the house to prepare for our time away overseas starting next month.

I was preparing to climb up to scrub the solar panels and the roof as Pacha scampered up the ladder like a squirrel. The roof is 5 metres (16 ft) high and at about a 30 degree pitch.

Through my head came a series of thoughts based on decades of conditioning: ‘she’ll fall’, ‘you can’t let her go up so high’, ‘ that’s irresponsible parenting behaviour’, ‘what will people think?’…but she went up so fast and with such confidence and agility, I only managed to squeak: ‘be careful darling’.

She stood there, on top of the world, taking photos of the view, feeling elated – surefooted as a mountain goat, her lightweight barely touching the weak zinc-alum surface begging me to ‘please’ let her do the scrubbing.

So, as I cleaned out the gutters of a year’s worth of gum leaves, Pacha grabbed the big broom and a bucket of soapy water and got to work. It was so much fun, so satisfying and so gloriously productive – we worked as a team and we made a difference. The water flows into the tank clean and unobstructed, the sun beats down on the solar panels without a coating of dust and grime and the roof is green again.

From time to time I had flashes of images of her slipping, of falling over the edge…I considered reminding her that if she falls, remember to fall well – to tuck and roll…but instead I trusted her own commonsense and my own faith that in her 11 years of
life so far she has demonstrated care and responsibility when taking risks
(climbing trees, standing on Ollie, surfing ‘out the back’). I was able to stop
myself from being paralysed by fear and passing this fear on to my child…I
think, in a way, it was a little break through moment…

I don’t want to feel responsible for anyone else reading this to take unnecessary risks with their kids, but perhaps, in this modern world full of dangers and fears, it is time to trust that our children can do amazing things – and that’s where their
enthusiasm for love for life and living is fed…

We saved a carpet snake from getting 'squashed' on the road last week...Pacha wanted to touch it...

and Yani fried a perfect egg...

No comments: