First: I have no pictures to illustrate this post because I did not bring my camera. I didn’t want to carry it. I should have known . . . . Also, I brag about my children in this post. You have been warned.
Micah and I went climbing over the weekend. Just to an indoor place here in Brooklyn. I’d gotten Micah a couple of day passes for Christmas two years ago, so we thought we might as well use them before a third Christmas passed. I think the last time I climbed at an indoor gym (also the first) was on our honeymoon, 7 years ago this month. Micah’s previous girlfriend had given him a couple of passes that he hadn’t gotten around to using while they were together. (I should have learned my lesson from that, eh?) And it had been longer than that since I’d climbed outdoors. My rustiness showed and I didn’t pass the belay test. Which meant that Micah wouldn’t be able to top-rope climb. He was stuck with bouldering.
Oops. My bad.
We had a good time anyway. Micah belayed me up a couple of climbs, we attempted some slacklining, and we both tried our arms at some bouldering. By the end of the night, washing my hands was almost too much work to ask of my poor, sore arms. But mostly all we talked about as we left the climbing gym was how we couldn’t wait to take the boys back there in a couple of years.
Of course. What else are parents supposed to talk about on date nights?
It turns out, however, that we have good reason to think the boys are going to rock the walls (pun totally intended) in just a few years. Mostly because on Friday, Simon went to Bounce U with a friend. Bounce U is one of those places with huge inflatable toys. Oliver wasn’t technically signed up to play, but nobody seemed to mind (except his mother) as he climbed to the top of a very large slide. I know it was very large because I climbed up there with him the first time and then had to slide down with him. I kept hoping that he would chicken out, like he does on the slides at the playground, but no such luck. He managed to get halfway up the ladder before I realized that he actually could do it on his own and followed him up so I could take him safely back down to the bottom, without having to use the slide.
And then there was Simon. Simon who spent half an hour climbing the spider web — six levels of elastic bands that stretch in a way that makes it nearly impossible for a 4-year-old to climb up. Nearly impossible. But not totally. Because Simon did it. It took him 30 minutes to get up and 3 seconds to slide down. And it was awesome. He was determined and he was persistent and he figured it out when almost all the other kids gave up. I was riding that mom-high for a good 48 hours. I’m still glowing at the thought of it. In fact, because of that, I was tempted to get Micah some more day passes to the climbing gym for Christmas so he could take the boys. In fact, come to think of it, that might be the perfect gift. By the time he got around to using them, the boys would be big enough to actually climb a rock wall.