Growing up my mom was always climbing. I remember sitting in my bedroom looking out the window waiting for her return. She was always so excited to go and returned smiling and happy.
It wasn’t until I was older that I ventured out with her to climb the rocks she used for rejuvenation. I remember my first climb, grappling with the slippery rocks, my hands sweating with adrenaline.
I supposed that climbing was much scarier than it was, but in reality was a thrill. I like describing it as a physical puzzle, your mind focuses on finding the right foot and hand holds to keep you going up and up and up. Finger strength becomes something you never even knew you wanted. There is strategy to climbing. Figuring out how to use your body to your advantage. Being taller doesn’t always help, being smaller doesn’t either. You take what you are, make it a strength, and climb just as high.
My mom was unable to take us as children, but I am grateful that she encourages me to bring my little ones along. I never got to see her strength as a climber when I was younger, but I see it now. I see how strong she is and how capable on these rocks. I see how she shares the joy she has found, her enthusiasm spreading like wildfire. I am grateful for her help in holding babies and entertaining toddlers with fruit snacks so that I have the chance to grapple with the earth.
Being given the space to find my footing and lift myself is a gift. To have the opportunity for my children to witness it is even more precious.
I want them to see me work at it. I want them to see me searching, seeking for a strong hold. I want them to see me fall and be caught by hands that I trust. I want them to see me hanging there, letting my arms rest for a moment, then trying again. I want them to see me succeeding, reaching the top.
I want them to see me smiling at the success and returning to that which brings me joy.