Another parenthood lesson: Don’t be stupid**

So this afternoon I was doing some (more) raking and remembered we have a couple tree limbs that have been mostly ruined by ice storms, winds, et cetera and really need to come down before they drop on our heads while making snow-angels with Lillian this winter. So I grabbed the hand saw and took a look at the best way to climb up to said branch (it’s the one doing a u-turn back toward the ground because it split):

Broken tree limb

So here’s a pop quiz: When you see this picture, do you think:

  1. No problem!
  2. What’s the number for the professional tree guy?
  3. It’s lasted this long. Just leave it.

I chose A. For those who know me, this is no surprise, but as I reached the halfway point of the climb, where the handholds dwindled and the reality of what a 30-foot drop will do to a not-as-young-as-he-thinks-it-is body began to make itself clear, I realized I was crossing a threshold. I feared the numerous potential negative outcomes first and foremost because of what any one of them would mean to my wife and daughter.

I sat there for several minutes, double-checking the possible angles, thinking of how easily I might have done this before, seeing it practically within reach and, of course, considering how expensive having someone in to do it would be when it would take all of five minutes of easy sawing to be done with myself.

But it was only practically within reach and I couldn’t face the idea of trying to explain what happened to my wife (if I were [un?]fortunate enough to survive).

So I came back down. Chalk one up for the (eventual) arrival of wisdom.

But wait a second. Aren’t you writing a book series about a woman who does some truly questionable things, endangering herself and, ultimately, her family? That seems a bit hypocritical.

Yeah, it certainly looks that way, but I believe Kelly does what she does because she truly believes it must be done and that she is doing something bigger than just her, and which will keep her family safe.* The truth or falsity of that perception is admittedly up for debate, but it’s what she believes.

And not falling out of the tree with a saw in my hand meant I was able — among other things — to get my 5 minutes in this evening. So there’s one more reason.


*  Or at least — without giving out any spoilers — that’s how it started.

** Or try to keep it to a minimum, at least. I mean, I have to know someone who has one of those super-long extending ladders…