Wing Walking at 10 Feet Tall
Who is your super hero? Who do you look to when your bravery is at an all time low? I look to Hank. This child goes into doctor appointments more bored than scared. He looks at strangers like obstacles to avoid, not because he doesn’t know them, but because he just doesn’t have the time to deal with them. In his mind, he is 10 feet tall. Everything he does, he is 10 feet tall. Well, unless you ask him to clean up a tissue that he threw to the ground … Then suddenly, he is a wee baby, unable to walk.
Last week, I decided that since it was just too hot to think, the three of us: Hank, Dave and I, would go to a local beach while the Hubs was at work. We packed up, got breakfast and headed out the 30-minute drive to a beach on Lake Erie. When we arrived, we staked out our section and I started blowing up the inner tubes. The floaties? I don’t know what to call these. While I was doing this, I watched my boys. There is Dave, the older one, who sticks his toes in and waits patiently for me and his flotation thingy. Then, there was Hank. He was out in the water to his knees and was working on going farther. Neither boy has learned to swim. One has always been water shy and unwilling. The other only recently learned that he even likes water.
We have had very warm, sticky weather so far this summer so I was looking forward to bobbling around in the water with these kids. When I got in, Dave stayed where he could stand with the water reaching his waist, which was hugged by the floater. Hank, however, wearing his floater around his chest, kicked his way to where I could just barely touch the mucky sand. As we floated and bobbed around and Hank worked on his kicking, the sun reflected off the water and the small birds fought off larger ones, I really noticed the difference in my kids.
When Hank was young, I called him ‘Wing-Walker’. He was brave as a baby. He wanted to walk, wanted to get around on his own, wanted to climb, wanted to jump off of things. He was the kid that you would hear, calling for help because he got stuck while trying to climb up the fence of the backyard, looking for his personal freedom. All animals became friends and all wanted a pet. He walked into scary situations, like an operating room, like it was just another day in the wonderful life.
Dave has always been more reserved. More serious and not one to run off. Staying safe and in his personal bubble has kept him happy and that makes us happy. I often say that he is my easier child. Which makes his brother… a handful.
While I was trying to sink my toes into sifting sand, Hank was trying to get past me, out further into the lake. Dave was calling to have us come closer and Hank was asking me to trust him. He was going to be fine. He was fine; not because he was 10 feet tall, but because, he is too young to ride on the wing of a plane. And he is too young to float to Canada or drift to Ohio. I had to cap his bravery at 5’3” and that still made for a lovely day. He’ll have to get to Canada another time.