Monday, 15 June 2015

Slip Sliding Away



We’ve been away recently.  A week with around 350 other Christadelphians at a place in Derbyshire.  It is my favourite week of the year and brilliant for the children.  You really know you’ve had a great week when N is bawling her eyes out almost all the way home because she “doesn’t want to go hhhhhome.”  A sure sign of a week filled with fun and friends.

One of the very best features of where we go is that it is relatively enclosed.  We can let N and S have a far greater level of freedom than we would at home because there is so much less that could go wrong.  N is old enough to remember what it was like before and so is not really surprised by this any more.  S, however.  Well, let’s just relive about twenty minutes of his life from last week shall we? 



The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick.  That slope on the left is going to feature very prominently in the story you are about to read.

Scene:
The gardens of a large, old house, there is a large lawn area leading down to a clump of trees and bushes, the grassed area starts with a drop from a path which is roughly the height of a two year old boy.  Here is an artist’s impression of what was running through S’s head at being presented with this.
Oh wow.  Can I really run down that?  Without anyone holding my hand?  I am so going to run down that slope.  Is daddy watching me?  Does he know what I’m about to do?  Better just have a quick glance at him to make sure he knows I’m here.  Is he chatting?  Does he know I’m about to throw myself headlong down a really steep slope.  I don’t think he knows.  Perhaps I should let him know.

“Daddy!”

I think that did it.  Right, now about that slo … Hang on, he’s turned round again, he’s not even watching.  Does he think I’m joking.  Better go and get him.

“Daddy,”

Grabbed his hand, good, he’ll have to come now.  OK, you just stay right there while I get ready for this.  This is it now, this is your Everest S.  It’s a good job daddy is here to witness this.  Hey!  Where do you think you are going?  Have you seen this slope?  It’s massive, and possibly unconquered, I don’t see any other toddlers about to take on this beast.  Better get him back again.

“Daddy!”

Right, he’s back and in position.  I can’t say this was the preparation I was hoping for the defining moment of my life but it will have to do.  Sometimes a man just has to close his eyes and leap.  This is it S, ready for your moment in history? 

WWWWWHHHHHHHEEEEEEE!

Well, that was fun.  Hang on, how do I get back up?  It looks a lot more forbidding from this side.  I don’t think I can make it back.  I know, perhaps if I run off daddy will come and get me and we can go back up the slope together.  Quick glance back to see if he is still watching?  Yes, yes he is.  Super.  I wonder if he will understand what to do if I just gently jog away?

Nope, the oaf is still stood there watching me.  Does he think this is some game?  What is he playing at?  Now he’s chatting again.  Who is that?  Will have to make a note of them to show my disdain later. 

“Daddy!”

That got his attention, now to get running again.  Is he coming?  No, again he’s just stood there.  Well, that’s a road just there I’ll just have to start running towards that, that’ll get him.  Yes, here he comes now.  And now he’s got me.  And now he’s just running around with me.  No, we were supposed to be going back up there, what are you doing?  Grown-ups are so dumb, perhaps if I squeal a little he’ll get the idea.  That’s it, that way, that wasn’t difficult was it?  There we go, back up the slope, you know you want to.  Thank you, finally.  Now put me down, I don’t want to be up here forever you know.

Super, so, what should I do now?  Wow, I think this bit of the slope is a bit different, I should try this now.

WWWWHHHEEEE!

I was right, it was different, I should try that again.  Ah, same problem, much too high to clamber up.  I wonder if the same solution will work?  Ha! Here he comes again, what a dope, useful though.  Right, put me down again.  Thank-you.  Ooohhh, this is different again.  I reckon I can still do it though, only one way to find out I guess.

End Scene

If it hadn’t been for lunch intervening I’m sure we would have still be running through that now.  His joy every time he slipped down the slope was properly infectious and I couldn’t help laughing along with him, which I imagine just egged him on, he is nothing if not a performer.  Happily lunch did intervene and I am not trapped in my own mini groundhog day.  For a while though S was king of the mountains, living life to the full and leading me on a merry little dance, and for a while it was fun just to share a little kid’s wonder at the world and celebrate his triumphs with him.   

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