Thursday, March 06, 2014

When She Was Two Years Old…She Was Four Years Old

Placeholder for The New Georgie Witherspoon
There was this tree in the vast backyard of the Witherspoon Estate that Georgie set her sights on climbing when she was two. She had seen her brothers Elijah and Isaiah climb it dozens of times and would have joined them had her nanny, Moira, not been holding onto her. With her around, she never seemed to be able to get close enough to that tree to see just how much climbing she would have to do to get to the highest branch where a little platform had been built. Elijah and Isaiah were always up there, looking down on the world like Kings.

Georgie was quite the climber. She first mastered her skills while climbing out of her crib. Until Moira put some kind of a net roof thing over the top of it. Then Georgie learned to climb onto Moira's bed until she put up guardrails. Then there were chairs, coffee tables, Daddy's desk, Mother's vanity. And the bookshelves in the library which she nearly got to the very top of if it wasn't for Moira pulling her down.

Moira. The woman was sweet and never raised her voice. She was happy to chase you around and never got mad if you threw your food or accidentally on purpose peed in the tub just to watch the water change colors. Still she had a way of ruining the most innocent of goals!

Yet there was one thing Georgie learned early about caregivers and that is eventually, they let their guard down if only you are patient and know just what to do to lead them in that direction. So for three weeks, Georgie stayed on her best behavior; no climbing, no throwing, no running away from a hair brushing. Moira marveled at how her little girl was growing up! Georgie smiled. It was just a matter of time. 

And the time was a sunny, Sunday afternoon after Church where Georgie was the perfect angel! Moira set her in the Sandbox and she played happily and obediently as Moira sat nearby sunning herself. The whole family was out that day; Mother and Daddy by the pool, Jennifer and her nanny at the swings, Elijah and Isaiah and their nannies playing soccer. The tree was unoccupied. She only had to be patient.

Rewarded! Mother called for Moira who told Georgie to stay put--a command she had been obeying without fuss for three whole weeks. Moira wasn't half way to Mother before Georgie was jumping out of the sandbox and running for that tree. To her surprise and delight there were little blocks of wood for stepping and a variety of rings for grabbing attached right to the tree! No wonder her brothers could climb it so easy.

The first ring was too high for her to reach, but the second block was not, so she grabbed the second block to hoist herself onto the first. Both toes planted on the first block left her able to reach the first ring. She grabbed it with one hand, then two. Hanging from the ring, she threw her leg up to plant her foot onto that second block, then the other onto the third. Legs wide and still hanging onto the ring, she took a moment to think. Then she heard them all calling her name.

She had to get up there before they found her. She took her chance and let one hand go to reach for the next ring. She got up onto the very tips of her toes, sweat running down her face and tree bark scratching her tummy. She reached and reached and wished she were taller and reached and got one little finger around that ring, then two, then three. She let the other hand release the other ring and grabbed the third block, pushed herself over and grabbed the ring with the other hand. And she hung there.

The calls were getting more frantic now. There was no time to think. She swung her feet up to the next block, leaning sideways and wondering if she could get at least one of her feet high enough to reach the next ring. That's when she felt the hands on her waist.

"Are you trying to get me fired?" Moira yelled (first time ever raising her voice) and pulled her away from the tree.

A fence was fashioned around that tree after that.

Georgie learned to climb that the following year.

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