Ford was over last night and we took advantage of the rare 80-degree late October evening to go to the park right by my place. It has a huge, child-swarmed playground, with one of those monumental play structures, all ladders and tunnels and vibrant plastic twirly slides in barney-purple and yolk-yellow. The neph’s old enough now—2 and a half—to really attack such a structure without someone holding him upright or going down the slide with him. We settled pretty quickly on a straight yellow slide and he ran up the steps, across the swinging bridge, and whooshed down the slide a bunch of times while I waited at the bottom to monitor his speed. This was a fast one, not like a lot of them where adult asses get stuck and you have to wriggle yourself through the twisty bowels of the thing, wondering when you got all feeble and delicate. I did it once (plenty for feeble, delicate me) and came shooting out into an 8-year old girl, who said I’d “scared the pee out her.” Sorry, kid.
One of the times Ford came down, I took a video. It was good timing, because Ford had decided to try something new. Enjoy:
His parents told me he’d been watching other kids go down head first at parks all over town, but this was his first time, and we get to see him steel himself—get up his courage and talk himself into it. And at the risk of becoming a mommy-blogger by proxy—Lookit my neph! Being a kid!—I’m really delighted I was there to see it and share it here with you, because this video is about more than cute—it shows me that being brave does not mean being fearless. That we all need someone there to catch us, especially when we’re trying something new. And that sometimes, the thing that scares us most the first time through is what we’re most eager to do a second (and third and fourth) time. You can see that right in the end, when I wanted to do a post-mortem, talk about triumph and feelings, but Ford? All he cared about was going down again, and again, and again.