"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.