Ronan up in the branches
During our summer trip to San Diego Ronan and Nieve found a gnarled old pine tree in Seagrove Park that I used to play in when I was their age. Without any prompting Ronan ran over and started climbing, moving from limb to limb until he was well above head-level in the branches.
Ronan thought the view was great from the top
Nieve started at the trunk
Nieve watched Ronan's progress up the tree and decided to try it herself. She's not as tall as Ronan and couldn't reach the low limbs he used, so she improvised and tried to scramble up the trunk.
Ronan at the helm of his 'X-Wing Fighter'
We loved watching the two of them weave their way in and around, up and down the tree. Ronan would find thinner branches and bounce on them, seeing how far the bow would bend under his effort.
Nieve keeping a tight grip on things
Nieve stuck to the stable limbs but showed remarkable determination determination and skill in her efforts. When climbing she kept a serious look on her face as she was happy but focused on objective.
'Grippy toe' Ronan pretends the tree is a motorcycle
In the tree the kids' imaginations ran at full speed: Ronan played a mix of Evil Kenevil and Luke Skywalker while Nieve assumed the role of a conquering empress. Mom remarked that their choices in characters closely aligns with their current personalities - Ronan the idealistic daredevil and Nieve as Queen Victoria incarnate.
Nieve, pensive about the future but ready to rule
Nana chuckled at both of them and seemed bemused by the excessive fretting coming from Mom and I about the possibility of either child falling out of the tree. Fortunately it was all humor an no pain; the children remained injury-free and the evening was a collection of laughs and near-misses. Hopefully we'll find another perfect climbing tree soon!
Whenever a train would go by, Ronan would jump down from his perch and run to the cliff's edge to watch it pass. Not a bad way to spend a San Diego sunset.