Sometimes in parenthood; you find yourself encouraging the strangest behavior.
Today was one of those times. We finally arrived home from school; laden down with backpacks, undelivered girl scout cookies and a science fair backboard. While balancing these items in my arms and hollering for the girls to please lock the car when they finally manage to get themselves extracted...I realized that the gate simply wasn't going to open.
I pushed. I prodded. I jiggled the chain. The chain was loose. In fact; it was only attached to my end of the pulley. Which meant, the 6 foot fence was locked up tight.
What to do?
I did what any good parent would do. I sent my 10 year old up there to investigate. She willingly climbed the wall next to the gate, and then balked. It's a long ways down.
But, there was no choice. I was not in climbing clothes. She's young, she's spry, and she was going to do it. I called encouraging remarks and walked along the wall with my hand out to steady her (my side was cement, the other side was grass and clover.) I tried to get her to let herself down onto one of the lawnchairs, but it was a no go. She would have jumped into the raised bed (filled with bermuda grass) but someone (probably me) left a garden claw sticking up out of it.
Finally she managed to maneuver herself down along the other side of the fence, repeating "I'm scared, I'm scared, I'm scared" as her sister repeated the same refrain...but adding in "We're going to get in trouble!"
The men at the gas station nearby were amused. Or confused. I'm not sure which.
My exasperated "You're allowed to break into your own house!" was met with chuckles.
And then she was down, and manipulated the latch, and we were in.
"I'm a hero!" she proclaimed.
Yup. She's a hero. And I'm proud to say very unlikely to ever embark in a career of criminal activity.