Editor’s Query: Tell us about a time when a child taught you an important lesson

Making dinner one night, deep in thought about my inadequacies surrounding a career change, I went to the sink to wash my hands.  Something fluttering in the back yard caught my eye.  Was it Peter Pan?  Had someone hung laundry to dry from our zip line? 

“Is that Sam?!” I exclaimed to my 6-year-old, Danny, playing underfoot.

“Oh, my God, that is Sam!” I shouted before he could answer.

My 9-year-old was dangling from the zip line by his belt loop, hands flailing, mouthing something that looked like a distress call, all while wearing a huge smile from ear to ear. 

As I ran to the rescue, I couldn’t help but laugh. The exchange went something like this:

“What were you thinking, Sam?”

“I don’t know, just trying something different. Can you get me down?”

“Did you honestly think clipping a carabiner to your belt loop and zip line and launching off the treehouse was a good idea?”

“I don’t know, I thought it would be fun. Can you please get me down?” 

“Sure you don’t want to stay like that ’til your dad gets home?”

“No, I have a gigantic wedgie. … Please get me down.”

I unclipped him, and we both fell to the ground laughing.  At that moment, I realized I could do anything if I just thought more like Sam: Try something different. Always be in search of fun. And even if it results in a gigantic wedgie … smile! 

 

Amy Mermelstein,

Cabin John

NEW QUERY

Tell us about a time when a parent made you proud.

If you have a 100 percent true story taken from your own experience concerning the above query, send it to queries@washpost.com or The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.

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