You wouldn’t think a cannon – a part of La Crosse history since 1900 – would be etched into the childhood memories of La Crosse children – past and present.
But I believe it might be so.
For whenever there is a crowd at Riverside Park – for a concert or special event – this bronze cannon, made in Spain in 1787 – is bedecked by children.
It is an absolute favorite climbing apparatus – a challenge to any child to climb aboard, to hang off of.
And it lends itself perfectly to inclusion – the more children, the more fun. Sometime as many as eight children line up atop.
And why am I so charmed by this sight?
No. 1, it’s a daring feat for a child to manage – to climb aboard. It speaks to adventure, to play in all its elements, to sharing, to excitement, to imagination, to accomplishment, to confidence, to trust.
For as parents/adults, we often worry what will the children do at outings that are not particularly catered just to young children. Should we bring toys with us, snacks, or perhaps their hand-held devices?
However – left to their own imaginations, “their own devices” and sense of adventure, children will figure out something to do – chasing, pretending, playing with sticks, stones, looking for imaginary treasures, searching for real treasures like rocks, feathers, bugs , spinning cartwheels, tumbling, picking dandelions –
… climbing on a cannon.
If we just let them.
For those are often the memorable times – the “remember when” times – when the kids figured it out – and the best time was had by all.
I bet you remember some of those times too!