Feb 9, 2006

Jacob's Ladder

2/09/2006 — cori

Okay, so here’s the story…my friend and I meet at a park. We have a total of 7 children between the two of us. We heard there was this really cool natural point of interest called “Jacob’s Ladder”. So, we did a little asking at the park we were at and come to find out, the object of our desire is a mere 100 yards away.

We really weren’t all that sure what this “Jacob’s Ladder” was. We were under the assumption it was some sort of suspension bridge. Neither of us were in our home city. We each drove quite a distance to meet one another in a central location to enjoy a wonderful day outside. That’s why, if we appear clueless about this beautiful natural tourist attraction, it is because we were.

Knowing the ages of the 7 children involved is quite important. My friend has a 5 month old in one arm, a 2 ½ year old lagging behind her, 4 & 6 year old boys running like gazelles 10 yards ahead of us. I, of course, have the fearless superheroes for children. They believe they ARE Spiderman and Batman; therefore, no harm can ever befall them. I also have my little diva attached to my hip. Anything that resembles dirt makes her squeamish and must be instantly removed from her sight. Thus begins our journey into the unknown.

We come to what appears to be some stairs leading down toward a road. At first glance, they look like every other set of stairs. Being the anal, paranoid type of person that I am, I immediately set up guidelines for walking down these ‘stairs’. One Mommy, that would be me, will walk in front (in case anyone slips and falls they will bump into me and then I will go rolling….). The other Mommy, my friend, was to pull up the rear (in case we had a retreater, plus, her daughter insisted on walking the stairs all by herself and 2 year legs don’t go very fast).

Once you reach about the 10th step, you realize you are no longer going down a stairway, you are instead, propelling yourself and 7 children down the steep edge of a cliff. With each step your life flashes before your eyes. Being that I had Chloe on one hip, I was off balance slightly. I have difficulty walking on my own two feet by myself. Add to that my INTENSE fear of heights and the fact that I was leading this parade gave me great distress.

I do however, owe a big thanks to the makers of these ‘stairs’. They did have the foresight to add charming little wood post railings to either side. They were, unfortunately, a little on the rickety side, wobbling more than I deemed safe. Either side of the ‘stairs’ were covered with trees and underbrush. We did pass your random piƱata. I was really hoping it wasn’t from a birthday party gone bad. We finally reach a small landing only to find the rest of the cliff still awaits us and appears even steeper than the first leg of our journey.

While we are all ‘resting’ on this death ledge, the children are leaning all over the rickey ‘ol railing. I am on the verge of throwing up, I’m so nervous. My legs have turned to mush. Fear is gripping me. I foresee some major rolling down a cliff in my near future and the thought is a little overwhelming. Yet, I press on, not to be one to shrink back from a challenge. Plus, I was the one leading this little excursion. What would the kids think of me?

We finally reach the bottom and turn around to look up from whence we came. We were going to need a helicopter to come in and bring us back up. There was no way in this world I was climbing up the side of a mountain with Chloe in my arms. However, that was a short lived pipe dream. We asked a bystander, who must have been enjoying the entertainment our parade provided, where this “Jacob’s Ladder” was. She looked at us like we were aliens and replied, “You just walked down it.” Duh.

This time, all four boys led the way back to the top of the cliff. Being that they had the added bonus of spider webs they could shoot out to help ease their way up the mountain, they had no problem bounding up the steps. My friend and I took slightly longer to go up. I was at the very back. I just knew I was going to fall backward at any moment. I have not experienced such a work out in my entire life. Yet, who was I to complain, I wasn’t carrying a 5 month old on my hip. If she could do it, so could I. My legs were burning, my heart was racing, sweat was dripping down my back and that was only at step 50 – where the landing was.

Once I made it to the top (the 93rd step), I wanted to fall face down on the ground and kiss it. I have never been more happy to be on flat land. I looked back over the ledge and told my friend, “If I had known that this was the adventure we were walking into, I don’t know that I would have ever done that on purpose. We might as well have just volunteered to climb the Washington Monument with all our kids in tow.” Thus ends your typical day at the park for us….until next time.

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