I'm posting this rather late to be included in the Pass the Torchmeme Kelly has going on for Tuesdays over at her blog, but I thought it was a great idea. Head on over there and check out her super idea of celebrating kids doing things right. In the meantime, here's my example.
Several years ago we had a very bouncy, energetic Golden Retriever that was huge even though she was still technically a puppy. I went out in the backyard to clean up after her before we all headed out to play. After removing all of the "debris," I headed out the gate to the trash dumpster. I pushed the gate almost shut but not quite, but something happened and the gate ended up shutting and locking. No problem. I headed to the front door to get Karate Kid, who was probably 5 or 6 at the time, to let me in.
I knocked on the door and yelled through it, telling him only, "It's me. Open the door." I heard him fumbling with the lock, but he wasn't strong enough to open the deadbolt. The garage door opener in my vehicle was dead, so that presented a problem. Just as I was standing there debating what to do, I heard a blood-curdling scream from inside the house. I took off at a dead run to the back gate, which was still locked. The only thing I could think of to do was to climb the fence. The cross beams were on the outside of the neighbor's fence, so I used those to get up to the top, but then was presented with a little situation. Privacy fences are very pointy at the top. There's no real good way to get over them unless you can step over those pointy tops and put your foot on the cross beam on the other side. Problem was, there were no crossbeams on the other side because The Hubster didn't want us having to look at them and had faced them on the opposite side of the fence.
I could still hear terrified screams from inside the house, so I debated all of 1 second before somehow standing on top of the points with my flip flops on (ouch) and jumping. I took off running into the house expecting the worse--a severed limb, a huge gash in someone's head, or something of equal magnitude to cause such horrendous screams.
Now here's where I get teary-eyed still when I tell this story. When I came in, Karate Kid was standing behind a little, petite 2-year-old girl that I watched with his arms wrapped around her, bending over and shielding her. At this point I still wasn't sure what had happened and, I'm ashamed to say, burst out with "Karate Kid, what is going on?!" in a not-so-very patient tone of voice. He told me that the dog had run in through the dog door (the smallest one made and intended for use for our Dachshund) and scared that poor little girl to death since the dog was bigger than she was. Karate Kid (who hated wearing shirts at the time) had run over and wrapped himself around this little girl and turned his little bare back to the dog to protect her from the dog getting to her. He told me, "Momma, I tried to get her up on top of the table so Abby couldn't reach her, but I wasn't strong enough to lift her up there." And then he burst out with, "And Aunt Meggie's at the front door" and started bawling (My sister and I sound alike and he thought that it was her calling to him through the door instead of me.). My sweet, brave little boy!