My husband's middle brother likes to climb mountains. He has climbed most of the mountains in Colorado, and a smattering in New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon. Last year, he climbed Mt. McKinley. The year before that it was a part of the Andes in Venezuela, and this summer he was on parts of the Alps. So yeah, serious mountain man. He is visiting us this week and planned to climb Mt. Washington - in the Cascade range - but a thunderstorm proved too dangerous. Instead, he took us to a rock climbing gym in Bend. I didn't climb, but my daughter did. Observe:
She's seven, and she has no fear. I remember the time when I had no fear. I was young, and I climbed trees with abandon, rode a three-wheeler up the face of a very large sand dune at the South Jetty, and screamed with delight at Montezuma's Revenge, the ride, at Knott's Berry Farm.
That's my baby up there! Those long, lean legs used to be chubby thighs upon which I snacked. Oh, she was a delicious baby.
Once I had a child, I fear all kinds of potential accidents: skiing into trees, carnival rides which jump their tracks, Bisphenol-A in water bottles. And that is all well and good. I am a mother, after all. I can't be reckless and for good reason. Now, I love with a kind of recklessness and protect my daughter with all the energy I used to exert on an adrenaline rush. It's nature at work.
I couldn't believe how quickly she took to it, and how high she climbed. After two hours, she was not ready to go home.