My parents have identical photographs of me at Kemper’s age climbing amongst the rocky shores of Maine and up to the narrowest branches in the trees in our yard, which in hindsight (now as a parent) was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad practice. Kemper is a bit more grounded than me, less of a risk-taker, which is why in his almost six years, he has not yet broken a bone. By his age I had already broken both of my wrists (at the same time), a few ribs, and a number of toes. I look back at this period of my life and laugh, though as a parent, I cannot imagine what I put my own through.
Kemper found the supine trees on Boneyard Beach at Big Talbot Island, which have been the subject of many posts in the past, and though they were only feet off the ground, he was still tentative in climbing them. I urged him, almost begged him, to overcome his fears and climb. As you can see by the wry smile on his face, it was a worthwhile pursuit. Of course, once I got him to climb one without incident, every new one we came upon needed to be ascended, which made for a fitful photography session of the trees, but was great fodder for capturing him candidly enjoying his boyhood. When we were in North Carolina last week, he had shed his fear of climbing somewhat, and mounted the rocks on the property with great aplomb. Still, he was more keen to slosh in the creeks and melted snow puddles with his wellingtons. He is grounded, and this will undoubtedly bode well for him in the future. Breaks are a part of childhood, a part of life, but his caution may let him escape the many breaks of bone and heart that I experienced. This is my hope, perhaps a naive one, but my hope no less.
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