Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Climber

Almost immediately after Shaun could walk, he started to climb.  We've never formulated a convincing theory as to why he had this fascination.

Our first house had a chain-link (aka cyclone) type fence.  And, we had two large dogs who lived in the yard.  One fine spring day, we had the back-door open and Shaun was free to walk in-or-out of the house as he wished.  He was not yet able to talk, but was pretty independent. 

Our story of events this particular day is based upon a logical reconstruction.  At one point, he apparently decided to climb the fence, which we had never-before seen him do.  As his hands reached the top of the 4ft fence, our male dog decided that he needed to take action, and grabbed Shaun by the seat of his pants.  At this point, Shaun got upset and began yelling.  His mother reached the door just about the time that he released his grip on the top of the fence, and landed, unceremoniously, upon his rump.  He continued yelling, and began swatting at the dog...unhurt, but angry.  To this day, we give those dogs credit for helping to raise our boys.

That same spring, we met for lunch at the Fort Worth Water Gardens.  We recommend visiting the water gardens, as they are quite attractive and unusual.  One feature is repeated use of terracing in the concrete-work...both downward into the pools, and upward into surrounding walls.  As his mother and I were talking, Shaun decided to climb the wall behind us.  He was quick, and soon was almost out-of-reach, but I caught him.  But, it was necessary for me to climb part-way up the wall myself.  To this day, I marvel at how he was able to climb a terrace with steps only about 4-inches wide, with about 16-inches of vertical rise between steps.  Thankfully, we both returned safely to ground-level.

Apparently, climbing was some kind of developmental phase for him, as he soon lost his fascination with heights.

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