In our backyard, is half of a beautiful Bradford Pear tree. Years before we moved in, the tree was struck by lightning and the entire right half of the tree crashed into the fence. The fence was repaired, the tree limbs removed, and amazingly, the tree continued to grow. An ever present reminder of the strength and beauty of nature, right in our backyard.
To my children, the tree is a confounding mystery. Oddly shapen and nearly impossible to climb. There are few low branches to grab onto and those that are left, are stacked closely together making it hard to grab onto or slip a foothold into. As I write this post, they are in the backyard gathered around the trunk of the tree and dreaming of climbing high into its branches. I have told them a million times that the tree is unclimbable. And there are other trees in our yard that are much more hospitable to small children.
Today though, I quietly let them scheme. They are working as a team and sharpening their problem solving skills. They are using the materials available to them and using them creatively. At the end of the day, they will either be challenged to success or taste a small failure. Both can serve as motivation to tackle other problems, or trees, in the future. I won't tell them, "It's okay. You can only try your best." I will tell them to try again tomorrow. And they will. And they will climb many unclimbable trees.