Gideon and I went to the playground on an unusually warm day in January.
"Be careful Gideon, there's a step there," I said as he determined the best way to get to the next level of the jungle gym.
He got down on his hands and knees and crawled over the step. His eyes gazed upon a little boy, who was about his age, and proceeded to use him as leverage to get back to his feet. He turned his attention to the slide.
"Want to go down the slide?" I exclaimed excitedly.
Apparently not. He rotated and then gravitated toward the swing area, a place full of mothers and fathers, as well as the occasional grandparent and nanny pushing their little ones in the air.
Upon realizing his intentions, I propelled my body towards him as he walked aimlessly toward the step, this time going downward. Kids are experimental. Eventually he has to learn that going down the stairs involves some skill, which he hasn't developed yet. But this is hardly the venue for such a lesson.
My unwillingness to let him find out the hard way enabled me to perform a midair act in defiance to the laws of physics, at least as I recall. I extended my arm towards Gideon's right arm as gravity pulled him downward to the hard, dusty ground.
A rhythmic rush of beating was felt in my chest as the blood within me flowed at an exponential rate towards the top of my head. On an impulse, my other arm reached out and I grabbed hold of his hood. He did not relate to the suspense and fear that I felt in that stress-intensive moment. He continued his single-minded journey towards the swing area.
This time, Gideon and I won over gravity. He did not wind up on the floor, crying nor bruised, neither physically nor in spirit. He just kept on walking towards the swings as if nothing had happened. And maybe for him this is true. Life lessons to continue.