Okay we all go through a lot of stressful moments in a lifetime and for much of it we regard each really trying time as the biggest issue we have had to face to date. For me this is no longer true and has not been so for about 13 years.
Rhys was always active and moving around so keeping tabs on him was a challenge, even when both of us were home, we would later learn a lot about ADHD. It was back when my son was nearing his 2nd birthday and we had been living in our house for only a few months. With his activity levels and curiosity he was still finding new ways that we had not thought possible to endanger himself or completely disappear, yes running away was a huge issue.
On this day his older siblings were playing under the balcony and our youngest was on top of it. I presume that he wanted to see what they were doing so rather than going down to see them, he quickly and quietly gathered a chair. He has always been big, strong as well as physically adept for his age, so was able to move it to the balcony railing without being noticed. Kneeing on the chair he could see his brother and sister under the balcony.
Then for some reason, as often happened, he decided to take it a step further, so with arms and legs outstretched his only contact with the world was via his stomach on the balcony railing. This is when he said, "Hey dad, look what I can do!"
Looking upon this scene about a billion thoughts went through my mind all at once. Should I yell out to get him to stop, which might startle him resulting in him going over? What if I try to sneak up and grab his legs, but would I be too slow? I seem to recall that I kept it together, but not the specifics of what I actually did, but needless to say everything was okay when he returned his knees to the chair.
Now thank you to my son every time I get in a stressful situation I can reflect back on his balcony starfish impression. It is amazing how much relief I feel when I realize that my current plight is no where near as disturbing. In the end I am thankful that the balcony incident has allowed me to gain perspective and focus on subsequent disturbing events.