Monday, December 13, 2010

The Human Pyramid

"Have fun", I told my son before his Sports Day. "And don't cry if you fall."

My heart swelled with pride when I saw him clamber to the top of the human pyramid. I couldn't tear my eyes away from him as he balanced himself precariously, and fearlessly lifted his hands; happy smile firmly in place. He was a star. He was having fun. What more could any mother want?

"You are so brave to let him do it", people later told me. I hadn't even thought of stopping him.
Now I wonder if my "Mommy meter" is all wrong.
drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Nah -- kids gotta have fun like that! And the teachers were right there! No problems!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Debra is right. It must have been so exciting for him too!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Debra and Holly- I am so glad you agree with me. To me, it was the most awesome thing that could happen to an (almost) five year old. And I was sure someone would have caught him if he fell. But....

Danette said...

And I agree with them! The whole point of parenting is to raise your children to do more-- with each passing year they take on a bit more- have room to adventure and stretch themselves. If you keep them too sheltered they don't know how to handle life and they do crazy things on their own without the learned wisdom that time teaches them and perhaps become resentful of your hovering.

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - I don't think your "mommy meter" was wrong at all. You were giving your son a chance to challenge himself and dare himself, and what he was risking wasn't very serious. I am totally with you on this one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No, because you have to let him try - and fail sometimes. That's how kids learn to adjust to the real world.

Ellen aka Ella said...

Mommy meter's augh~ They can be such a pain and sometimes they don't work.
You allowed your son to be part of something unique; How excited he must of been to be the star on top!
You were wise to let him go experience life~ Happy for you both!
Way to go MOM~xXx

kmckendry said...

I think kids have to take chances like that, it builds their confidence and helps them to try new things all their life.

Deb and Barbara said...

No, no, not wrong!! If our children are brave, it's great to encourage that. There is so much fear (and fear-mongering) around, let's give a pyramid-cheer for courage!!
The Middle Ages

Dorte H said...


I loved climbing trees when I was a child so when my own children were small, I let them take the same chances - and when they fell down, I picked them up and comforted them.

Jen Chandler said...

I think all kids are natural born climbers. I know I was! And all my
neices and nephews are.

Let him climb! Teach him to reach for the stars :)

OH! I had to tell you. A week or so ago you commented on my blog that you were drinking chai and it made you think of me. Thank you!! That really made me smile :D


LTM said...

argh! I hate that feeling. I recently had it with a substitute teacher at my daughter's school... I didn't have a problem w/her--many parents did. Me: Am I missing something?

I think we have to learn to trust our instincts, and it's so hard as a parent! :o) <3

sue said...

To face the world with courage, confidence and a smile: what more could we want for our children.

I reflect on what we encouraged our children to do when they were little, but that early training served them well during the teenage years (with crying encouraged when it got too overwhelming).

I love your photo. The children underneath providing strong support for those above. It's beautiful. I think the adults were as delighted as the children!

Julie Musil said...

A picture IS worth a thousand words! Look how happy he is!

Your mommy meter is NOT off at all. Even if he'd fallen, he would have been proud of himself for doing it.

Mary Vaughn said...

Rayna, you have a wonderful "Mommy Meter." Don't let others influence you doubt your children or yourself.
You will know when the idea is way too crazy and because you are their mom, they will know too.
Wonderful pic.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

You did what moms need to do - offer support and encouragement while letting their kids try new things and eventually become independent.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Danette - yes, that is exactly how I see it. If I try sheltering them too much, how are they ever going to acquire the tools to cope? Much better to show them the limits and let them be.

@ Margot - exactly how I saw it. After all, the teachers would hvae caught him if he fell. And the thrill of having all those people cheer him is something he is not going to experience too often.

@Alex - precisely how I saw it too. Thanks.

@ Ellen - he was thrilled, and I am sure he is not going to forget that in a hurry.

@ Barbara - there is too much fear-mongering isn't there? There are things which are dangerous, and that they should be kept away from. But in this case, what are the odds that he would have got hurt too badly?

@ Dorte - if my mother knew half the things I did when I was little, she would have died. I cringe at the thought of my kids doing some of those things, but if I did them, I cannot really stop my kids from doing them, can I?
I was a huge tree climber too.

@ Jen - I was a climber, and so are both my kids. And I am happy for them, because there is nothing quite like climbing when you love to do it.
And yes, chai always reminds me of you now!!!

@ Leigh - me too, Leigh, me too. There is one teacher who is supposed to be "bad", but my son likes her, and I trust his instincts on people. But am I missing something?

@ Sue - you said it. There are three things I want from my kids- to never run away from something because they are too scared to try, to not give up because they don't feel like continuing, and to be compassionate human beings. The rest can take care of itself- these are the three things I want.
And it is an awesome concept, isn't it? The way the kids work to their strengths to create something so lovely.

@ Julie - so true. I would not want to deny him that moment of happiness for anything. And at the end of the day, even if he had fallen, it is not from such a great height.

@ Mary - thank you. When I see the reactions of other mothers, I wonder if I am a bit off, but if all you wonderful people agree with me, I can't be too wrong.

@ Jane - they do have to experiment don't they, before they know what they are capable of.

Hart Johnson said...

Your meter is just FINE. It is the paranoid moms with the off-meters--they will raise children who don't know how the seize the day when a moment comes along.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Tami- what would I do without friends like you. You keep me sane.

KjM said...

I'm not a Mom, and so cannot comment on your "Mommy Meter". But, I look at the photograph - it says it all.

Well done - to both son and Mom.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ KjM - thank you. Yes, he was thrilled.


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