Men and women are different. Everyone knows that. But the differences are so hard sometimes for me to understand.
Take this weekend, for instance. We took the kids to see some boats on the river and John had a great fascination with seeing the water, from the boat. At the back of one boat was a ledge about waist-length for him, and behind the ledge was a large open hole, easily big enough for a child to fit through.
John kept leaning over the ledge farther and farther, trying to better see the water, and in so doing, his feet even raised off the ground, leaving his head hanging out of this hole. My mother and I kept gasping, and grabbing at him. My dad stood and laughed while my brother -- John's father!! -- kept telling us to quit, and to let go of him!! LET GO OF HIM!!!! So he could fall to a watery grave!? No, thank you!!!
It was quite an incident, as John kept doing it, we kept trying to keep him from falling, and the menfolk acted as if we were crazy. "He's not going to fall!" they both kept saying. The kid is three. Don't tell me he's not going to fall. Better safe than sorry, I think! What harm were we doing in holding onto him for our own peace of mind!?
And then we noticed Wendy. While John seemed oblivious to the turmoil around him, Wendy most certainly was not. She was on the floor of the boat in tears, wailing, "Don't let him falllll!!! Don't let him falllll!!!!"
Women must be born with some protective instinct toward small children that men simply don't have. Although at the restaurant we had just come from, my brother was concerned about the high top table we were seated at because they had no highchairs for John, and he was afraid John would fall out of his chair.
He was worried his son would fall out of a CHAIR that was about three and a half feet off the ground, but we were being ridiculous for worrying he'd fall through a hole on a boat that was easily 25 feet above the water's surface, and the water was a good 50 feet deep and the child is three years old and cannot swim?
And then there's my dad's nonchalant, "If he falls, I'll go in after him." That makes us feel SO much better...
I'm happy to report that John survived both incidents. All I can say is that it's a good thing children have mothers. I don't think they'd survive being raised by men alone.