When 13-year-old Jordan Romero became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest, parents throughout the country breathed a sigh of relief.

When 13-year-old Jordan Romero became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest, parents throughout the country breathed a sigh of relief.

It wasn’t so much that they were thankful that the California youngster was safe, although I’m sure that nobody wanted the daring young adventurer to fall off the mountain on his way up or down the 29,035-foot peak.

No, they likely were just thankful that — if I can put words in their mouths — “this wasn’t a field trip I had to approve.”

Imagine signing a parental consent form that contains the words “... released from responsibility for frostbite, falls into crevices and avalanches ...”

Not a field trip

Actually, this was not a school-related event, although it apparently was a school-inspired one.

According to an Associated Press article, Jordan — who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro when he was 9 and plans to scale a total of seven mountains — said “he was inspired by a painting in his school hallway of the seven continents’ highest summits.”

His parents signed off on his goal of climbing every one of those mountains, and the Everest trip became a family outing, of sorts. Dad and his girlfriend went along.

“Helicopter paramedic Paul Romero and his girlfriend have trained Jordan for top-level mountaineering,” the article said. “Romero and Karen Lundgren are adventure racers, competing in weeklong endurance races that combine biking, climbing, paddling and climbing through wilderness areas.”

OK, so Jordan isn’t from an ordinary amusement park-and-picnic family, with parents who might question a request to be allowed to climb a mountain. “Are you sure you don’t want to just clean up a creek bank toward a Boy Scout merit badge?”

Too permissive?

So, a lot of normal folk have questioned whether Jordan’s parents should have allowed him to try to fulfill his dream, believing there is too much danger and death involved in mountain climbing.

Even a desperate whine — “You never let me do anything”— would not be enough to make some parents cave in and allow a trip to, as Jordan himself put it, “the top of the world.”

“Please! Everybody’s going ...”

I can understand parents’ caution. Climbing a mountain isn’t exactly as worry free as a class trip to Washington, D.C.

It looks like his mom, Leigh Anne Drake, approved of the trip, too, although it appears perhaps not necessarily wholeheartedly. She did report to AP what her reply was when her son called her from the summit of Everest.

“I just told him to get his butt back home.”

Now that’s something to which most parents can relate.

Gary Brown writes for The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact him at gary.brown@cantonrep.com.