|Chris, Jerry and Dad.|
Background: The RIVER
Sometimes, in our best efforts to raise and protect our children, we blow it.
My Mom was amazing, but even she had her moments . . .
My eldest sister, Chris, was a wanderer.
On a ranch, that is never good.
Mom often was forced to perform herculean feats in order to keep her small daughter safe. (See here.)
Hmm . . . Training for a few years down the road when another small daughter would try her patience?
And her ingenuity?
But I digress . . .
She tried many different things.
And, on one occasion, resorted to ‘reason’.
With less-than-stellar results.
Three-year-old Chris was very fond of wandering down beside the river that flowed past the ranch house.
At times, Mom had to physically pluck her daughter from the very jaws of death.
Finally, she decided to try something that would encourage Chris to police herself.
She told her small daughter that it was dangerous to walk near the river.
Because there was a giant octopus that lived there.
And it would get her if she got too close.
Chris stared at her mother wide-eyed.
“Octopus,” Mom said knowledgably.
Mom went back to her chores, happy in the knowledge that her little girl would now stay far from the wicked river’s banks.
A few minutes later, she looked up to see that, not only had her daughter disappeared, but her even smaller son.
Sighing, Mom began her search.
Even though she knew that the probability of the two of them heading for the river with the ravening, slavering octopus living there, her footsteps just naturally turned her in that direction.
Good thing, too.
Because it was there on the river bank that she found her intrepid duo.
Chris had toddler Jerry’s hand and was leading him along the bank.
Encouraging him to look out into the water and see if he could spot the octopus.
Yeah. Parenting fail.