A Dangerous Season

Summer seems to draw out nostalgic feelings in every adult. Personal memories frame our expectations for our own child’s summer activities. I am certainly no different but my ‘tween daughter is growing up in a huge city with barely a backyard. Things I did every day of the summer (#28 Climb a Tree) are rare treats for her. Conversely, she does some things (#26 Learn Dramatic Sword Play) at camp that I’ve never done. My initial guilt about not providing the perfect summer experience has faded though. With her different experiences she is building different competencies than I have. She brings these newfound competencies to the family and we learn together.

Learning together, while doing dangerous things, is the best part of being a family. As could be expected the dangerous things I had never done myself were the hardest to stand by and watch. No bodily harm would happen when she made her own recipe (DT #42) for a cake. Water puts out a fire so what harm could come from a tiny paper cup of water stuck over the flame (DT #13) at a camping trip? The cake was rather lumpy when it came out of the oven — lessons about mixing and the science of baking soda. And watching the cup singe and then the water boil was fascinating! The shared joy of illicit activities bonds us as colluders—separate from others who haven’t dared to climb on the roof (DT #19) or stand at the front of a canoe (DT#50)!

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