“I’m so stinkin’ proud of her I just can’t stand it!” I said as I ran over to Brian and hugged him, jumping up and down in front of some colleagues like a five-year-old.
The day prior, Catherine and I stumbled upon Sarah at the low ropes course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort when we were out for a walk. She did all the elements, including the kids’ zip line, twice. She loved every part of it and begged for more. She loved it so much that she convinced the Kids Club director to take her to the adult zip line the next morning, and when I picked her up, the director told me she zipped without a moment’s hesitation. That should have been enough. The event that provoked my sheer elation topped even that.
Sunday afternoon, Sarah nearly drove me crazy asking to climb the rock wall. It was quite high, and I wondered if she’d really climb high enough to be worth it. Knowing how much she’d loved the ropes course and zip line earlier, I acquiesced. After begging us throughout lunch, she just harnessed up, buckled on her helmet and then told the belayer, “Climbing” – the tell-tale sign that a climber is taking her feet off the ground, making the belayer responsible for safety. She had no fear.
I felt giddy. Not only did my kid love climbing; she’s good at it. She climbed nearly thirty feet, past the height of the older boy who had gone before her, and then her hands gave out in the cold. I immediately texted a photo to the only person I know at this stage in my life who climbs. “Look at my kid!” I wrote. I don’t remember feeling so excited in a long time. And in the core of my being, after camping the week prior, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt at least one thing that makes me unequivocally happy. See if you don’t smile and feel a little tinge of happiness too when looking at these photos.