On a snowy day, I watched the REAL Aaron scamper 20 feet up a tree with a heavy wood duck house and a power drill. When he got to a branch he could stand on, he drilled the duck house on the side of the tree opposite where he was standing. Now, try to picture that in your head for a moment. I bet you can’t without imagining that Aaron is a very flexible chimpanzee – which he is not.
On another occasion, I watched Aaron run past us (my husband and six kids) in hot pursuit of a runaway calf. We had all been chasing it for a mile (it seemed like five miles) until it ran into the tall grass. That’s when we gave up, and that’s when Aaron jumped into the hay field after it.
“There is no way he’s going to get that calf,” we all laughed as we walked back to get the truck.
Minutes later, guess who comes walking down the road, soaked to the bone, with a calf over his shoulders? Yep. Aaron had chased that calf through the grass and into the lake, where he wrestled it, threw it over his shoulders, and made it say “uncle.”
At the time, I asked myself, “How does he do that, and why can’t I do that?”
Answer: Like most kids, Aaron grew up having to meet certain expectations (do chores, do not flunk out of school, show up to dinner, do not kill or maim anyone, etc.), yet he also enjoyed a great deal of freedom. He didn’t hear a lot of “You can’t,” “You shouldn’t,” or “If you do that, you will regret it forever and ever IF you are lucky enough to survive it at all.” I, on the other hand, was taught from a very young age to “stay in my orbit” and fly (climb) low. Sure, that saved me from falling off many branches and breaking many bones. But it did leave me wondering: If I had tried to climb a tall tree, would I have gotten to the top?