Holidays are great for spending time with family. Yesterday was Easter and my day began early. I prepared a dish to bring to my Mother-in-law’s house for dinner. I woke my children early – not the other way around (gone are the days when they were too excited to go to sleep and then got up before the Easter Bunny had a chance to finish her work). My husband took me out for a ride on his new Harley – a little chilly but still a lot of fun. I ate, and then ate some more, and of course devoured enough candy to induce a diabetic coma fit for an elephant.
I also went for a walk with some of my family. A detour led us up a rocky hill to the train tracks. The hill topped, maybe, 15 – 20 feet. About half way up, I got stuck. Not because the rocks were loose or the air was thin at that altitude. I froze because I’m terrified of heights.
Put me on the back of a big, bad motorcycle and I think I’m a badass. Ask me to scale the side of a rocky, fifteen-foot incline and I’m reduced to tears, hyperventilating, sweating, and swearing – a lot. I may have even piddled myself. I’m not sure because I had my eyes squeezed closed and my face squished against the only tuft of grass on what was now, in my mind, Mount Everest.
My 12-year-old son, Noah, wanting to help, held out his hand, which happens to be attached to a body weighing only about 75 pounds – like that’s a reassuring strong hold. He proceeded to try to coax me up the hill similar to how strangers greet a maniacal dog who wants to chew off limbs, “Come on, Mom, it’s ok.”
I don’t know when the fear of heights began. I have no recollection of ever falling off a mountain, or even a curb for that matter. It’s not all that important for me to know that. What I need to remember is that I am, and I should keep my feet firmly fixed on flat ground and not rely on the persuasion of skinny 12-year-olds to free me from such dilemmas.
I like to think of myself as more of a… potato (but with nicer eyes) – keep me firmly planted. Whereas, Noah is like a dandelion and he will go in whatever direction the wind happens to be blowing without any concern for scary things like trains or rocky hillsides.
We finished our walk via the train tracks collecting railroad spikes and other fun things that 12-year-old skinny boys can’t possibly carry because they’re feeble. The walk on the tracks felt much longer than it actually was because I was so focused on making sure I saw the train coming, which direction it was coming from and if it did, planning out my escape route. I also don’t ever remember being taunted by a train, but there you have it.
I so enjoyed our little excursion this Easter that for next year I plan to take a train somewhere, anywhere (maybe Mt. Everest) and hide my face in the grass so no one finds me. Somehow, I’m not so sure they’re going to be looking for me anyway.