Memories of an unsupervised childhood I

This memory was dredged up by the Free-Range-Kids blog.

When I was 10 years old and light as a feather, I could leap out of the top of a 50 foot conifer and just grab a passing branch which will spring down with my weight, then let myself fall to the next, until back to earth. My cousin and I could play this game for ages. Of course getting up to the top can only be done the hard way. But such exhiliration, such feeling of power, such adventure. Parent supervision, safety harness? Who, what?

I stopped climbing trees in my 30’s after a somersault from 20 feet while picking mangoes. It was a close call and my desire to live to see my children raised, and maybe just live another day, has kept me out of trees since.

When my sons were toddlers I taught them not to try to climb over the fence in my suburban yard. Maybe I made them more sensible. I was glad, although also a bit nervous, that when they were 15 years plus they would go with friends to a big tree overhanging a lake and jump in the lake from 20 – 30 feet.


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