My tiny baby, er, I mean, sturdy 20-month old climbs up the "big kid" equipment at the park. Up, up she goes, to the very top of the twisty yellow slide. She is so high off the ground her nose should be bleeding. I wait at the bottom of the slide, my head tilted so far back to see her I have a dent in my spine.
It is all I can do not to race up the steps and grab her. She's a good 15 feet off the ground. What if she decides to lean over, loses her balance and... The imagination knows no bounds.
I stand my ground, but my heart is attempting to burst from my chest and rescue her before she ... she ... she slides down all by herself, smiling and shouting "wheeeee."
Give me the badge. I'm now officially a second-time mom.
Sawyer is cautious by nature - and nurture. His personality is not to charge head-first into something, but I probably didn't help by worrying over him and teaching him that some things are scary. Some things are, in fact, scary, like dashing into the street or grabbing a hot pot on the stove.
Or, to me, those big openings on top of the playground equipment where he could possibly fall and be permanently disfigured, paralyzed, or worse.
I am guilty of over-parenting him and not letting him figure out that if you stand up under the table you'll bump your head, or that bouncing on the couch can land your butt hard on the floor.
Parenting Sage has been completely different. Her personality is, when it comes to physical activities, much more daring. Plus, she's more coordinated than Sawyer was at the same age. When she falls, I avoid eye contact. She might cry for a second, and then she moves on. I want her to be tough. She has to be, with an older brother and a neighborhood filled with boys.
She has already had a fat lip, courtesy of a tumble off Sawyer's KinderZeat during which she smacked her head on the table and landed flat on her face. It is the first of what I'm guessing will be many bumps and bruises.
But today, Sage was so proud of herself as she went down that slide. Self-confident and strong. My girl.
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