Monday, July 16, 2007

Fear of Heights

I spent much of the day yesterday overcoming my fear of heights. Of course, the fear remains, but I made steps to prove to myself that the fear does not own me. My family is on vacation in the mountains of North Carolina. Yesterday we drove the winding, narrow road up to Chimney Rock where we proceeded to exit the truck, enter a long tunnel in the rock and then an elevator which goes something like 26 stories up in 30 seconds. Claustropobia is another fear of mine, but I couldn't even think about that. I was too concerned with keeping me and my two small children safe at the top of Chimney Rock. (My husband could take care of himself.)

Yes, I looked down. I made myself do it. And my two-year-old son didn't want to walk on his own, so I carried him up the steps across a vast chasm up to this rock perched precariously 2200 feet in the air. I didn't even hold onto the rails lest I drop my child. I was in protective mode. Mothering does wonders for making you forget about self. This includes fears. And the view? Unbelieveably gorgeous. I'm glad we did it. I have to hand it to my husband, he pushes me out of my comfort zone sometimes...and I let him. It's good for my soul.

On the way back to our mountain retreat, we stopped at the store. I told my husband I would drive the rest of the way up the mountain. Yes, me. Up the mountain that sent me into near fits of panic the first few times we drove it. This time, I was in the driver's seat with everything I love most in the car with me--my family. I was careful. I made it to the top, perhaps a little slower than my husband takes it, but you know what? I actually enjoyed it. Focusing on the safety of my family helped me get to the top without freezing up, foot on brake.

When we arrived at the mountain house, another challenge awaited. We found that one of the children had locked a door that should not be locked. Now we couldn't get in. We tried jimmying the lock with a candy stick to no avail. At the thought of spending the night outside with the bears, I walked around the side of the house to find my husband, six-feet-five, over two hundred pounds trying to climb the lattice to the second story balcony. He was too big. I knew he couldn't fit his feet in those little holes and if he did, the lattice would not hold his weight.

So I did it. With husband and two children watching, I dropped my purse, grabbed onto the lattice...and climbed, no, SCALED the wall. Looked like Spiderman is what they told me. Mama saved the day. Little Mama who's afraid of heights.

Mamas, I've learned, can do anything when the welfare of family is involved. We're having a ball. Can't wait till the next family vacation.

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