In September some time, we were at a park and Ryan challenged the boys to climb one of the trees at the park. Our boys are both naturally cautious. They're not really adventurers. I have friends whose boys are all over the place from a young age--jumping off the couches, climbing on the counters, getting into every single thing--but my boys have never been like that. Knock on wood. Anyway, Ryan likes to encourage them to be adventurous and to stretch them out of their comfort zones. I'm more of a pansy, so I just watch and let Ryan do the stretching.
The boys very reluctantly started climbing the tree. They did not make it very far, but Ryan coaxed them just a little further, then just a bit more, then one more step--and before they knew it, they'd both made progress. Reed was above Ryan's head. Asher was four steps farther than he wanted to be. And they went and found another tree.
Since then, the boys want to climb trees every time we are at any park. Ryan is often not with us, in which case the selection of a "good climbing tree" is left to me, someone who has never climbed a tree in her life. I'm learning what to look for. Reed is willing to go much higher in the trees than Asher is, but they are both way braver than they used to be.
A funny side note: the day after the first tree climbing episode found us at a different park. Ryan pointed out a good climbing tree to Reed. I volunteered to accompany Reed because Ryan was helping Lila on a see-saw. Reed realllllly wanted Ryan to help because, in Reed's words, "If Dad comes he will like make me go higher than you will. And I want to go higher."
Another side note: Their newly found love of climbing has extended to all parts of every piece of playground equipment. Their new favorite thing is to try to go completely around a playground without touching the ground--and not just by using the usual bridges and walkways, but by climbing on top of the hand railings and such. Sometimes I just close my eyes or look the other way. My heart was not made to watch crazy boys do crazy things!