square_923930667Carson had come to visit with Mrs. Green every week since the middle of second grade. He brought his math and his spelling journals with him. They were filled with extra large X’s and comments from his teacher in very dark red ink. Carson was an intelligent boy who had come to the conclusion that he could not do anything. Mrs. Green had heard him say, “I can’t” more times than she could count.

Mrs. Green made it a point to get to know every child who visited her home. She had been doing her research on Carson and she was ready when he walked in the door.

Carson walked right into the dining room with a scowl on his face, tossed his notebooks on the table, sat down and crossed his arms in front of him.

“Carson, we will not be working on spelling or math today.” Mrs. Green headed for the closet, she took out her coat and started putting it on. She tried hard not to look at Carson’s face. She handed him his jacket and said, “Today, I need some help from you.”

Carson sat up straight in his chair and looked at Mrs. Green. He thought she might be joking.

Mrs. Green looked Carson in the eye now. She knew she had his full attention. “Follow me” She said.

Mrs. Green didn’t give Carson a chance to put on his jacket. She didn’t look back at him. She walked right out the back door and through the patio, past her garden, and straight back to the very large tree by the stream.

Carson was following behind and rushing to catch up with her.

When Mrs. Green got to the tree she reached her arms up above her head jumped up and grabbed the lowest branch. She began kicking her feet and pulling up to try and hoist herself up onto the branch.

Carson was confused and amused all at the same time. He walked around so his face was right in front of Mrs. Green and said, “Just what is it you are trying to do?”

Mrs. Green was hanging from the branch. Her feet were kicking back and forth. She was a sight to see. “I want to learn to climb this tree here. It’s a shame to have this great big climbing tree in the back yard and I can’t climb it.” She continued kicking her feet. “I was hoping you could teach me.”

Carson closed one eye and tilted his head. He was sure Mrs. Green wouldn’t play a trick on him. “Well, first of all, all that Kicking isn’t going to get you anywhere.”

Mrs. Green jumped down and landed on her two feet. She straightened out her coat and caught her breath. “It’s not?”

“No. If you want to get up in this tree you are going to have to pull your feet up and hold onto the branch with your legs like this.” He jumped up, held onto the branch with two hands and grabbed the branch with both of his legs. He twisted his body up over the branch, and up the tree he went. He stood up and reached to grab the second branch and pulled himself up again. Then he climbed up to the third, fourth, and fifth branch until he sat quite comfortably on a sturdy branch at the very tippy, tippy top of the big old tree.

Mrs. Green looked up at Carson. “I can’t do that!”

Carson sat swinging his legs. “Sure you can. There’s nothing to it.”

Mrs. Green shook her head and started walking back towards the house. “No, I can’t!” she said it just like she had heard Carson say one  hundred times.

Carson climbed down from the tree as quickly as he climbed up. By this time Mrs. Green was at the back door. Carson quickly raced in front of Mrs. Green and stood between her and the doorknob. He took her hand and pulled her towards the tree. “You can do this Mrs. Green. There is nothing to it. We will take it step by step.” Carson spoke in the same tone Mrs. Green had used with him a hundred times before.He walked her back to the tree and branch by branch he told Mrs. Green just what to do.

That afternoon when Carson’s mother came to pick him up she found Mrs. Green and Carson sitting  on a very sturdy branch at the tippy, tippy top of the big old tree, by the stream at the back of the lot at Mrs. Green’s house.

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.