When considering the might have beens, it helps to envision the would-likely-hurts in life.

Realizing just how many broken bones are possible with that trip to the trampoline park, for example, helps eliminate the yearning.

Reality vs. wants/desires, you see, led discussions this weekend as the Crabtree family gathered round the kitchen table for a gab session and cut-throat board game.

A debate of Crabtree limitations quickly arose with acknowledgment that we simply aren’t a graceful bunch.

Southern European roots created a genetic mix that one could easily see plodding through the fields and forests, toting those heavy wooden pails filled with water or the cumbersome pikes and shields of an early foot soldier.

You’d expect one of us to jump into the air and twirl about as much as you’d expect a hippo in the Nile to grab a tutu and start performing ballet. Some folks have lean figures and high metabolisms; we don’t.

That’s when discussions turned to exercise which all agreed was a good idea and that someone ought to do it.

Health concerns, however, were immediately raised.

“Picture a Crabtree trying to do karate. We’d probably trip on the mat walking up to practice, break an ankle and then somehow miss that whole big area and break our nose on the concrete,” Crabtree The Younger offered.

The child is growing up fast and has already learned that some limitations simply have to be either accepted or faced with copious amounts of padding.

After all, we as a family have a remarkable ability to survive, it just hurts a lot, and we know it.

Her comment produced an eye roll from the elder matron of the family, but then she comes from tall, lean and graceful Germanic stock who somehow married into the Crabtree legacy. The rest of us got the dominant ancient farmhand genes which allow us to carry on in the times of turmoil, but invariably lead to an avoidance of all things requiring finely-honed sense of balance – or strict diets for that matter.

“Skydiving? If we packed five chutes, do you think we’d somehow get caught in five trees all at the same time or just one?” The Younger asked.

Another eye roll.

“Or ballroom dancing, seriously could you imagine a Crabtree in Stiletto heels? (insert a wave of giggles here).

“How about aerobics? Do you think we’d pull every ligament all at once or use one of those bouncy things and accidentally hit the ceiling?”

“Or gymnastics, we could die by somersault.

“Or Yoga, do you think we’d ever get untied, or just have to live that way from that point on?

“Or bull riding, we’d wind up gored, or survive and look like a donut for the rest of our lives?”

The reply from a somewhat exasperated Crabtree The Elder already plotting her next move?

“It’s your turn. Roll the dice.”

Good advice, isn’t it?


– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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