Sunday, July 06, 2008

On belay

It has been years since I climbed to the top of a mountain. I use to think there was nothing better than reaching the top of Diamond Head and seeing the crystal blue water or standing at the top of Mt. Baker with the pristine view of winter right in front of me before sailing down to the bottom. Then there was yesterday...
During the move, I found Julien's old "duck-duck" push toy. Santa brought this for him on his first Christmas. Julien started walking when he was ten-months-old and had completely mastered it by the time Christmas came around. The duck and Julien were inseparable.
Duck had a bath and then I introduced him to Addie. At first, I didn't think she knew what to do with him, but it didn't take long before she was just thrilled to listen to him quack as I pushed him on the floor. She loves to sit and play with duck and loves it even more when I help her walk and we both push duck together. It was late last night and I didn't see the point in fighting any battles, so I told Addie that duck could go upstairs with us. This in turn meant I had to get both of them up the stairs without him falling out of Addie's hands and avoiding complete meltdown. I decided to incorporate therapy into our hike up the stairs. I carried them up a few steps and then put duck one step in front of us (still firmly attached to Addie's hands), I picked up Addie's right leg and put it on the stair in front of us. I encouraged her to "up" and the next thing I knew, she was pushing with her right leg in an effort to "up" to the next stair. My heart just about broke into a million pieces when I realized that in her effort, her leg was shaking immensely. We continued up each stair and each time I put Addie's leg on the next stair, she pushed with all her might, legs shaking and duck cheering her on. As a Mom, there are those moments when you just don't know whether you want to laugh or cry and when I saw my eighteen-month-old daughter struggling to the point that her legs were shaking just from trying to reach one more step, I knew I had to keep that smile plastered on my face and I had to push her even harder to reach the top. As I placed duck on the landing at the top of the stairs, Addie started to giggle. I placed her right foot on the landing and told her we were almost there, with more effort than I could have imagined, she pushed herself up to the landing and sat down. She turned to look back down at me and laughed her sweet little laugh. Never in my life had I witnessed a more beautiful sight and never before had I been so honored to be the one on belay...that hike that started halfway up my flight of fifteen stairs was just the beginning. We have miles and miles yet to conquer!

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