What can I say about my daughter that you haven’t already heard? Would you believe that I have something? Yes indeed I do. If you know us, you may have heard us allude to Beth’s fondness for exploring limits. This weekend, Beth learned new vertical limits. On Saturday we were playing a game that can best be described as a cross between hide and go seek and dodge ball. We had been at it for a while, and I was starting to draw a blank on new hiding spots. You guess correctly, I do not hold back one bit. I was planning my spot on my next turn when I decided it was time for a paradigm shift. It was time to go up. My next turn came around and I scaled the tree in our back yard. It was not a very obscured spot; it was only about 5 feet off the ground and only about half of my body was hidden by leaves and branches. But just as I had hoped it was a great success. It was my favorite kind of hiding spot, a success largely because it was unexpected. Beth criss-crossed the yard looking in vain for her daddy, who was perched just above where she was looking. I spent several moments trying to decide whether I would reveal myself or preserve the integrity of the spot for another turn. The perceived need for instant gratification won out, and I jumped down not far from where she was standing. It was worth it.
At this point, I feel that I need to explain how I got up there. This tree in our back yard does not have any horizontal branches to speak of, so it is not easily climbed. It has four main trunks that sprout from the ground at a steep angle. I got up by walking up. Picture me wedging myself between two of the trunks, the soles of my shoes planted on opposite trunks. Facing one of the trunks and grasping it with my hands as I went, I inched my way up to the point where the trunk branched off. Both of the branches went almost straight up, but it left a space in between where I could suspend myself 5 feet or so in the air. Got it so far? Well, after Beth discovered that I was up there, she immediately asked how I got up there. I immediately found my mistake. I didn’t tell her, because I didn’t really want her to imitate me, as I knew she surely would. Well, It was her turn to hide, so I went off to count. When I came back, I immediately noticed that Beth had managed figure it out on her own. I know this because her legs were not long enough to get her as high as I went, so she had nowhere to go once her legs performed a perfect split between the tree trunks, about 4 feet in the air. There was Beth, doing a split to wedge herself between two tree trunks 4 feet in the air. A huge smile on her face that said one thing: satisfaction.