Friday, August 17, 2012

A Daring Rescue

"Mom!  Connor's stuck in the tree!" 

And so began my daring rescue.

We have several trees large enough to climb in our yard.  Inevitably, our children, neighbor children, possibly even random children climb up into our trees every day.  The tree that Connor got himself stuck in (shown below) is great for climbing, but is a little high up to get into.  So my ingenious husband crafted a rope ladder to climb in.  Unfortunately my six year old couldn't climb out.

Mom to the Rescue!

First I tried to talk the boy down.  That was a no-go.

Then, I changed from my skirt and flip flops to my super hero saving outfit - otherwise known as shorts and tennis shoes.

It wasn't till I reached my leg up into the first (rather high) rung of the rope ladder that I realized I hadn't climbed a tree in a couple of decades.  I hadn't quite considered that something so very easy to me as a child would be so awkward as an adult.  The audience of neighbor kids thoughtfully giving me encouragement didn't actually help.

Once I put my full weight onto the old, weather worn rope ladder, I prayed, "Dear God, please don't let this rope break and have me crash on my butt with all these witnesses."  I think the child who recently got his own cell phone was prepared to document my rescue operation.

I got into the tree and climbed up a couple of branches to get to my son.  I braced my back against the tree trunk and planted my feet as firmly as I could on one of the branches.  First I calmed him down with the whole "You can trust Mommy!  I'm going to help you.  Don't worry.  You'll be fine." speech.

I will admit that I didn't actually know if that was true.  My boy is getting heavy.  He could make crazy sudden movements.  He could freak out and just let go.  He could get me off balance and we could both fall out of the tree.  I had no idea if I could actually get him down safely.  But, he didn't need to know that.  I figure, with five (going on six) kids, one of them will break an arm someday.  Maybe today?

His crying quieted down enough for him to hear where I wanted him to put his hands and feet.  Finally, he let go of one branch and crouched down so I could lift him down from one branch to another.  Then, I was down as far as I could go before getting out of the tree.

And I realized, I didn't know how I was going to get out.  I couldn't quite get foot into the rope ladder right, and was again worried about it giving way in front of the spectators.  The suggestion to just jump out of the tree was suggested by many children who were used to bearing all their weight on their arms - a feat that I had not even thought to attempt for years. 

Finally, I managed to hold onto the rope ladder and do a very un-Olympic like dismount.  Not elegant, but not injured.  I convinced Connor to slide himself out of the tree and into my arms.

I walked back into the house with a little swagger, I will admit.  Once again, mom saves the day.  And with no insurance deductibles spent.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This past Sunday, our church celebrated the retirement of our pastor.  He has been in the ministry for 44 years and had been with our church specifically for nearly thirty years.

As part of the celebration, people from his former churches as well as family and friends from the past wrote letters and traveled to let him know how Pastor had impacted their lives. 

In fact, during one part of the celebration, those who came were asked to stand if Pastor had affected their lives in one of several key ways. Then, our pastor and his wife were able to look around and see an entire church full of people whose lives they had positively impacted throughout their life's work.

Most people don't get to see a lifetime's worth of  friends and family this side of heaven.  Of course, people will come to funerals to pay respects, but I would venture to say that most people don't get to witness such a powerful celebration of their lives.

But, I've thought about this before.  Have you?  Have you wondered what kind of impact you have really made on people?  Have you wondered what kind of legacy you will leave? 

I realize I am only in my mid-30s and it is probably maudlin to think this way.  But I still wonder, especially now that I am an at-home mother.  I don't come into contact with as many people.  A Pastor - well that really does put you at the center of people's lives during all kinds of joys and sorrows.  That is the kind of job that can have a huge impact when people are most vulnerable. 

Please don't misunderstand.  I realize being an at-home parent is important and I am impacting my children's lives.  I just wonder sometimes what kind of impact I have on others "out in the world" beyond my front yard.  Have any of you wondered the same?