Don't Worry Mom, We Made Safety Harnesses

June 25, 2010 by Rieshy

This memory is only 12 hours old, but it is my Feel Good Friday memory anyway because it keeps cracking me up.

My back door flew open this afternoon to reveal my son Ben, and his mohawked and moonboot-wearing compatriot, Luke,  from 3 houses up the street.  They both commenced talking in 8 year old boy style: fast, reference-less, and excitedly.

I always get a tad distracted by my son's sparkling eyes and sweet grin when he's telling me something important.

However, the phrase from my son's friend, "Since Ben's never bungee jumped before," caught my attention as did Ben's simultaneous sentence, "Don't worry Mom we built safety harnesses."

Safety harnesses? Hold-on.  "I thought you were playing in his backyard," I asked my son.

"We are, but there's this telephone pole and we attached ropes...  Hey, do you want to come see? It's really, really, really cool, you'll like it."

Why, yes, I did really, really, want to come see.

My 11 year old wanted to come see too.  For some reason we were both giggling as we followed the boys down the street.  My giggles may have had a bit of hysteria to them. Or it just may have been following behind the Napoleon Dynamite-esque moonboots  that were getting to me.

There was indeed a telephone pole in the center of Luke's backyard.  Fortunately, it was one that dated from earlier days, before the city upgraded to larger poles spaced outside our neighborhood.  In other words- no phonelines or powerlines were still connected.

In fact, Luke's family had built a play platform about 7 feet off the ground using the pole as the center support.  About 20 feet off the ground there was a hook with 4 long lines that hung down.

Our enterprising boys had each tied two lines together to form two separate knotted seats.  They grabbed bike helmets, climbed outside the platform, sat in the seats, and holding onto the ropes began rappelling in a big circle around the platform.

"Isn't this cool Mom?"

"Well, yeah, that looks fun- but it's rappelling not bungee jumping, an important distinction. And I'd like to see your safety harnesses."

That was the moment that I needed every bit of self-control.  Helicopter parent I am not, yet... well, let me describe their safety harnesses.*

Ben's was a play cowboy belt around his waist.  To the belt he had attached one end of a pair of toy handcuffs.  The other end of the handcuffs, in spectacular safety, was attached- not to a different rope- but to the lines he had tied together- the lines from which he dangled.

But, at least he had put on some borrowed knee pads.

Luke had tied a jump-rope around his waist after wrapping it around the line he was dangling from.

I stood there staring.  There were so many ways to respond.  Luke's mom came outside and stared with me. "It would be a good way to break an arm," I commented.

"Yep," answered Luke's mom.  "They've been doing this for 2 hours straight,"  she said while looking up at the show.

The boys collided and started laughing.  Quantitative Risk Assessment on the fly, without a calculator, it's a mom's job.

I went home and made dinner.  Ben showed up to eat with all his limbs intact.  Perhaps he has a career ahead of him as a rigger.

* My camera is still out of commission.  I can't express the sadness with which I did not get a photo of the cowboy belt and handcuffs.


Fiorella said...

Love it! I particularly enjoyed your reference to the 8-year-old "reference-less" speech (which I totally get!) and the visual of you and the other Mom standing together in solidarity, looking up the pole at the fruits of two hours labor.

Between You and Me said...

i love this moment. i only wish for you (and us) that there was a picture to further define the moment.

priceless boys.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I love their imagination. Half the fun is building it.

Emily can make them arm cats forntheir pretend broken bones if you want. She has made several, as well as a wrist cast and a foot cast all out of cardboard and tape.

I love our kids!!!!

I hope you will remember their contraption forever, now get that camera fixed!

JoAnn said...

You are my parenting hero. I'll think of you when my sons are almost killing themselves later in life.

Homemaker Honey said...

Hi! I'm here from The Lady Bloggers Tea Party Social! Pleased to meet you. I've got a HELLO, HANDSOME blog party happening at my blog right now. I'd be tickled pink if you stopped by and joined in the fun.

Homemaker Honey

Rachel said...

I love it! They sound so creative and energetic!

Carolyn said...

Oh my!! Glad there was no plaster involved, sounds like a good arvo!

Christy B said...

From a mother of five girls and only one boy...I can't imagine! :)

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