age appropriate, options, and other ideas

this LightSaber Kit with all sorts of build options was high on dean's list of Christmas demands

lisa bought it so it could be giving to dean from the grandparents
pa and miga (lisa's parents) came down earlier this week and gave the kid's their presents as they will not be around or in town for Christmas itself

I was hesitant with the purchase
the age recommendation on the box reads 6+
dean is only five and a half

we got the gift and opened it
I was not there when the exchange happened
but I can picture dean tearing through things have no concern for lost pieces or missing instructions
so... when I got home from work I was handed all sorts of random pieces and given the task of assembly

once the instructions were found and I disassembled what had already been put together incorrectly it all came together quite nice
it was done in a nice father son fashion
that works sort of like a doctor and a nurse performing surgery... scalpel please... sweat off the brow... thank you

as I assembled things then also once together I explained to dean how the light saber worked
how there were all these extra pieces for alterations and modifications
dean grabbed the light saber and started to play with it telling me that it was fine and he was going to leave it like this
I then found my left arm and left leg cut off
even though I was attacked defenseless without a weapon of my own

I figured as much...

it is sort of like those super cool cycling glasses with the alternate lenses
it seems like such a good idea
it is so cool to have options
but... the len color of choice go into the frames
and the lens options get lost or forgotten

the next morning dean woke with excitement and went searching for his new toy
we found the light saber
then dean gathered some of the pieces for modification
we sat down and discussed the various pieces and the various options
as it turns out the age guidelines are good... but not hard rules
although dean needs some assistance on the first set of alterations
he grasps more than I initially thought
a few more sittings together and he will be able to handle alterations on his own
that is... if we do not lose the extra pieces

the notion of age appropriateness buzzed through my head
the morning blended into afternoon and I found myself with a group of single speeders out at Fountainhead
a posse that I do not normally ride with
some fast and fit folks with some technical abilities beyond my scope
a good group of guys

early in the roller coaster loop of Fountainhead we slowed in a valley down by a creek
as it turns out there has been some man made mountain bike construction
two wooden teeter totters
the group in front of me attacked the obstacles with the same energy that dean attacks an unopened christmas present
I sat back and watched

as this was the first time I had seen such a thing I had to take it all in
the notion of my age and the notion of age appropriateness floated through my head
at this point I had not thought of Dean
but I did think of my list of recent injuries and my turning 40 next year
a few minutes passed
everyone had ridden the obstacles a few times
it was approaching time to get back on the singletrack
after some discussion on the topic of what the teeter totter feels like I made my approach
first on foot
then on bike
it was pretty much as effortless as I had been told
a tad awkward
a bit odd
but entirely do-able
I rode the wide teeter totter a number of times and blew off the more narrow more steep teeter totter till another time

it was then that I laughed to myself about the guidelines of age appropriateness
these are good guidelines
but not hard rules

now if I could only find the replacement lenses for these Smith glasses!