Free Range Climbing


We took the drive tonight that brings us to one of my favorite places in town. On clear nights you can see the mountains. Often little boats will roar by much to the boys delight. And always planes will fly above you, no less than 5 minutes of rest until the next one; loud but neat to be looking up and seeing the underneath insides of a plane. An old car is brought up on shore, leaving just pieces to remain. L loves it so much, he always looks for it first upon arrival and begins his series of 58 questions in two minutes.

You can walk in either direction on the shore. One side wraps around and brings you close to downtown, the other is still a mystery to me. I’ll have to walk that way next time.

Tonight we went around 7. I declared that nights like tonight are a thing to be happy dancin’ to and we should get out and enjoy it. So late bedtimes we decided, and off we went for exploring.

Naturally, (after rock throwing and treasure finding) the boys decide they want to do some climbing. L ask me, “mama can we climb up that? You will be able to see me, don’t worry.” My answer is an obviously: yes. yes you may climb that mountain. Have fun and be safe. 


I stand back and watch with total glee as my kids go climbing up this edge. “Look mommy! Do you see me up here!” They turn back often to acknowledge my thumbs up and a smile that I hope reflects confidence in their abilities.

Another mom walks by and I hear her daughter beg, plead really, Can I climb up there mama?! The mom says no and under her breath remarks that climbing up there is NOT safe and we should NOT be doing that. I don’t acknowledge it. I’m too busy watchin’ my babies climb.

I assume her position comes from the fact that her daughter was younger  probably 3, and not to put a stereotype on gender’s at all but honestly, she is probably not used to seeing her kids climb crazy things like I am. I see this every day. It’s even crazier at the playground.

Here’s why I let my kids climb this mountain. {without commenting that I believe it was safe – because obviously it would be the biggest factor in anything they do or don’t do – hope that’s a given}

I trust my children. I trust their ability to asses wether something is right for them. I watched them from the distance and I loved how L was off exploring a little more than J was, but J was so proud of himself for getting as far as he did. He fell once and whimpered that he got dirty. My reaction was plain and calm, I loved watching him get up and try again.

They found confidence that day. They knew their mama believed in them. They discovered how strong they were that day. How smart they were and how I trusted them to decide how far they should go. L was so smart to stop when he got to a point that he felt uneasy about. Turning around and going another way.

They felt dirt on their hands a new way that day. They felt how cool it was to climb up a mountain and look down at the people below. The felt a sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves. They were excited and happy to be climbing up such a cool dirt “hill.” They were independent. They failed on their own and figured it out on their own. They were each proud of themselves for climbing where they climbed. Most importantly, they had fun!

So for all those reasons…. that is why I let my kids climb the mountain that night.

So worth it. 🙂


Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

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