I spent a wonderful evening with Daniel last night. Scouts Canada was hosting an open house at his school, so we went to check it out. Among the activities set up was a zip line. Daniel’s jaw dropped the first time he saw a child zoom by, suspended from a cable, literally flying from one tree to another. All the other activities paled in comparison.
Now, Daniel’s a wonderful, caring, clever boy, but he’s always held back a little when it comes to trying new physical activities. I could see that he wanted to try, but was very nervous about the zip line. “That looks like so much fun! Look Daniel, there’s Marcus from the other Grade One class, join him in the line.” But Daniel’s not one to be so easily coerced. He had to do it on his own terms.
Step One: ASK PERMISSION
Although it looked like just about anyone could go for a ride, he insisted on getting permission from one of the Leaders. I suppose that because he’s a people-person, talking to someone about it, rather than tackling the physical thing head on, was less intimidating for him.
Step Two: AVOID GETTING SCHMUCKED
Now that permission had been obtained, the race was on to get into the lineup. Without thinking about his surroundings, he bolted towards the lineup. The timing couldn’t have been worse. As Daniel ran underneath the line, a child came whizzing directly towards him at break-neck speed… “Look out Daniel!!! Out of the way!”
Step Three: WAITING IN LINE
This was a very tricky step. A seven-year-old has a difficult time waiting in line at the best of times, but for an excited seven-year-old this was almost impossible. A couple of issues arose: avoiding getting whacked by zip line users and retaining his position in the lineup.
Step Four: FEAR FACTOR
Once up on the platform (built using a couple of large wooden boxes stacked on slightly uneven ground causing a very small wiggle to the pile) Daniel had a very difficult time overcoming his fear of … well something. The Leader offered to let him sit on his shoulder to help him put his legs through the zip line sling. It was a bit of a difficult stretch getting his legs through the sling while holding on tightly with both hands. After a lot of convincing and three adults’ help, Daniel was ready – ZIIIIIIPPPPPP….
Step Five: LANDING
…schrunnnnnnnnnnnn. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite get his legs far enough through the sling and his bum ended up being dragged along the grass prior to stopping. However, this didn’t dampen his enthusiasm or diminish his smile. He immediately ran back and rejoined the lineup.
So, while I completed some paperwork to register him for the Fall, he rode the zip line a total of FIVE times! Way to go Daniel! I’m so proud of you for overcoming your fears and trying something new.
By the way, does anyone have any surefire method for removing grass stains from jeans?