On a short walk with Ellee today, we came upon a tree. “Mom,” she exclaimed, “Can I climb that tree?” To which I promptly responded, “Nope.” Being like any self-respecting Mom, there was no way I was going to let my precious child fall out of a tree and break something, because that is what would inevitably happen if I indeed let our daughter climb that tree.
But then, a little voice in my head whispered, “Why not?”
And for some reason, I listened to that voice. So I turned to her and said, “On second thought, Sure. Go for it.”
So she did.
It was a little precarious at times. And thankfully, she didn’t really go that high. But she was happy, and giggled and I could see her calculate and plan as she figured out different ways to climb up on those branches.
And all in her fancy silver flats, no less.
As I watched her, I felt convicted. Because too often, I don’t listen to the adventurous voice in my head. Nope, I most often listen to what I consider safe, and hesitate to let our kids do anything that might cause them even the slightest bit of harm. I justify it believing it’s because I’m a good and reasonable Mom. I don’t want our kids to get hurt or to take unnecessary risks.
But the truth is, that life is full of adventures and risks. And if I don’t let our kids figure out how to face them at a young age, they may never be brave or strong enough to face them when they are older. One of my favorite Bible verses is in John 10:10 and it’s Jesus stating why He came to earth. And his reason? That we might have abundant and full lives.
Let’s raise our kids to live abundantly and full. Chances are, this might include tree climbing, or exploring and chances are, they will learn so much in this process. They will learn to calculate risks. They will learn to be brave and strong. And if they fall, they will learn from their mistakes and hopefully learn to not fall the next time.
Let’s love our kids and let’s let them climb trees.