Posts Tagged With: Fear

~ Social Climbing ~

I just wanted to do something unusual with my family AND at the same time, see some friends we rarely get to see.  Our friends, Paul and Heather had a gem of an idea: Wall Climbing at EarthTreks in Columbia, Maryland.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” was the response from the under-age peanut gallery at the little cottage.

“You’ll enjoy it!” I promised, as I packed snacks and drinks.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” They cried.

“It’ll be an adventure!” I urged, as I organized everything into the car.

“NOOOOOOOOO!” They pouted.

“Get in the damn car!” I barked.

And off we went, just like that.

Life really is so much easier when you just get straight to the barking.  Everything else is just for show.

Varmint was honestly scared.  She is not a fan of heights.  We could rationalize everything ad nauseam:  My Captain has a ton of rope training and experience from his time on Maryland Task Force One, he would never leave her side,  the ropes are incredibly strong, the floors are very padded, the harnesses will not give.

It didn’t matter.  She was shaking, quite literally, with fear.

Critter, on the other hand, does not know he is mortal, and we have to take the opposite tack with him:   Yes, you have to wear a harness.  Yes you have to wear a rope. No, you may not jump down from the top.

And so the day began.

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This is Paul.  Paul is demonstrating two things:  1) how strong the harness is and 2) how strong he is.  You may remember Paul from the Bethany Beach Fourth of July Blueberry Pie Eating Contest.  He rocked it three times in a row.  He’s my hero.  I’m going to be him someday.

With less facial hair.


Varmint got ready, looked her fears right in the eyes, shot me a dirty, reproachful, “HOW COULD YOU MAKE ME DO THIS?” look, and started ascending the wall….   2013-01-27 14.40.44

…..hating me every bloomin’ step, and muttering to herself quietly enough that I could not discern the exact foul language she may have been employing.

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My Captain had her safely in his belay the whole time, and she eventually trusted that.  But she still hated me for being so dadburn pushy and overbearing.

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That is, until she reached the top.  And then she beamed.  And she glowed.  And she decided to climb up the wall a few more times without me pushing her into it.

And she proved to herself that she had more ability than she ever fathomed.

Oh, she still hated me, but I can take it.  She’s only eleven, after all.  I’ve got a few more years of being hated to go, I reckon.

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Critter, on the other hand…..

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…is blissfully unaware of his own mortality.

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And is wickedly adventuresome….one might say, beyond the voice of reason.

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One might even venture to say he is foolishly, zealously, brazenly over-confident.

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And rather callously unconcerned with his little ol’ mama’s skipping heart.

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In fact, you might say he’s an imp.

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A cocky one, at that.

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This picture has nothing to do with the story.  I just like the looks of My Captain in a climbing harness. 2013-01-27 15.42.57

Paul’s daughter, Zoe, reassured me that there was no need to worry about Critter.

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“Aw, there’s nothing to it,” she promised.  “He’ll be fine.”

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She said this as she herself scrambled like a monkey up the wall….as if gravity were optional.

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This picture has nothing to do with the story either.  I just love his arms and shoulders, and, er backside.

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“Hmmm,” muttered Critter, “I bet I could do that faster.”

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“Me, too!” answered Paul.

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And then he did!

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Rather nimbly, I might add.  Not bad for an 85-year-old man.

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I just wanted to look at this guy again.   BOY HOWDY.

Can you believe he is married to me?  I sure as heck can’t.  I keep waiting for him to realize the enormity of what he’s done.  But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the view, thank you very much.

Wait, what was this post about again?

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

~ Critter Vs The Rooster ~

We are taking care of chickens this week.  For a friend. A friend who thinks we are responsible and trustworthy.  A friend who thinks enough of my children to invite us into this wonderfully fowl world of hers.

So we gather eggs.  We change water.  We spread calcium pellets.  We scatter feed.

We watch out for the resident black snakes who are known to show up from time to time.

And we avoid the rooster.

The Rooster.

THE Rooster.

Let me tell you something, my critter is not a calm child.  He is a bundle of energy, full of impulse and joy.

Roosters, apparently, do not appreciate these qualities in a human caretaker.

We had finished up the work and egg gathering portion of our visit this morning, and were embarking on our talking-to-the-hens portion, when Critter, in his usual exuberant fashion, bounded from the door of the barn to the coop.  The Rooster, who was coming in the exact opposite direction, took umbrage to this and attacked Critter’s calf.

There was horrible squawking.  There was gut-wrenching crying.  There was blood.

Fortunately, My Captain had come with us this morning, and hightailed Critter to our car and it’s very-oft used first-aid kit.  Critter’s wound had to be well cleaned because Rooster claws are full of, well, CRAP.  Nasty, bacteria-ridden chicken crap.

Varmint and I stayed at the coop and calmed all the occupants down, with a watchful eye on The Rooster From Hell, otherwise known as RFH.   Frankly, it was already business as usual to them.  Even the RFH, who simply strutted and cocked around like “That’s right!  And there’s more where THAT came from!”

Critter eventually stopped crying and asked me in the most pitiful voice I’ve ever heard him use if we could boil the eggs we gathered this morning so he could eat them for lunch.

“That would make me feel a lot better, Mom.  It would serve him right, too.”

I guess the lesson here is that revenge isn’t best served cold.  It’s best served Hard Boiled.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

~ Varmint and Critter and The Bee ~

What a weird evening.  I spent it at a spelling bee.

Both of my children entered the Monocacy Elementary School Spelling Bee.  Both of them made it to Finals.  Both of them made it to the winner’s circle.  Varmint got 3rd, and Critter got 2nd.

Understand something….let me be VERY CLEAR:   If it were not for Spellcheck, you would not be able to discern half of the words I write on Mama Boe.

Clearly they got their orthographizing talents from their father.

I was not looking for an entertaining evening.  I mean, let’s face it, I’ve gone from exciting nights out on the town in my 20’s to an evening at the elementary school spelling bee in my 40’s. I really did not have high expectations for the evening.

But talk about excitement! Holy. Stinkin. Moly! It was more stressful than going to the racetracks.  I mean, I was on the edge of my friggin’ seat.  And to have BOTH of my kids going head to head on the stage…there isn’t enough Xanax in the world for that kind of pressure.

Varmint got taken out by the word ‘Cemetery’.  Critter got taken out by the word ‘Stomach’.  Neither one of them will ever ever ever spell those words incorrectly again, that I can promise you.

And then at the end of the evening, the school had a raffle.  One of the prizes was “Vice Principal for the day.”  Critter won it, and was overjoyed.

Before we left, I asked Varmint how she felt.  She was pleased that she had given it a try, and pleased that she had gotten to the winner’s circle.  I could tell that she was a little disappointed, though.  I had watched her study the word lists, and watched her nerves and hopes throughout the process.  She was a real trooper and doing her best to be mature about not winning first place.

Then I asked Critter how he felt. He said it was good that he got Second place, because red is his favorite color and that was the color of the medal around his neck, but what he was REALLY psyched about was winning Vice-Principal for the day.

So, let me get this straight:  He survived longer than all but one of the many contestants on the stage after several gruelling rounds of spelling bee, but what he was most proud of for the evening was winning a raffle? Winning a game of chance?

I thought Varmint was going to punch him for sure.

It’s a good thing he’s fast.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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