by Shelley R. Lee
If you have kids of any age you have been their first responder in a number of situations to be sure. I’m not sure if having four sons increases the rate and frequency of these incidents, but judging from the way people look at me when I tell some of my stories I’m thinking it does.
One day when my four boys were all school age I heard a faint but urgent “Mommmm!” coming from the little woods next to our house. The gully, as they called it, was a boys haven, laden with scrap wood, rusty nails, and Dad’s missing tools. An utter dream. Unless of course you find yourself dangling by your ankle from a tree screaming at the top of your lungs which is the state in which I found Wes after I tore out of the house in search of the frantic cry that could barely be heard from the house.
Standing under his struggling little frame and big tears, I could give him just enough slack to loosen the rope around his ankle and then he fell down onto my shoulders. On other days their panicked runs to the back door with a trail of dripping blood behind them may have been less scary than this one. Wes had gone out to the gully alone to move a part of the zip line landing to help his brother who was afraid to go down the zip line. Yes, there was a zip line. Excuse me, but I feel like you’re giving me that look I was talking about.
Well anyway, we had a good talk afterward, again (just in case you were judging me), about safety and thinking a few steps ahead of yourself.
Now all in their 20’s three of them are into extreme hammacking, slack lining and climbing things that the average person would naturally avoid with the use of common sense. I’m sure glad I had those safety talks with them.
But all mishaps aside, fall is a such a great time to hang out in the woods, but maybe you’re like me and prefer a simple hike with less potential for being a first responder.
Shelley R. Lee, previously the lone woman in a rambunctious family of four 20-something boys is happy to also have a daughter-in-law these days. Author of three books, numerous articles and book contributions, she resides in northwest Ohio with her husband of 28 years, David, a wrestling coach, of course.