Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way Up The Fire Tower...

by Judy




Last week I searched online for interesting places to visit near my home.  Even though we've lived here for twenty years now, not being from this area originally, I'm always finding treasures that I didn't know existed. 

I found this great place, just a little over an hour from my home.  A six hundred acre forest preserve, with marked trails, a pond, and what caught my attention the most - a huge fire tower.  The online information really emphasized how awesome this fire tower is. What great views one has when at the top of it.  They said, "Be sure to climb the fire tower when you're there"....So, of course, I had to go. 

The great thing is that I was able to go the very next day.  Another great thing is that my son is home from college, and is an ever willing photo companion when I go on all of my photo excursions. So off we went. 

It was a beautiful forest. And yes the pond was great, with great reflections for photos.  Also, the largest bull frogs I have ever seen - or heard! But onward... my main mission was to hike to the fire tower. I kept imagining how great it was going to be, camera in hand, to shoot the beautiful foot hills of the Catskill Mountains, and the Hudson River below.  

After a short hike, there it was! On the top of the hill, and towering over us. I was disappointed that there was no plaque at the bottom telling us how tall it was, or how far above sea level we would be once we got to the top.  But, let me tell you - it was tall!



So we started up.  And a funny thing happened on my way up the fire tower.  I realized that I was scared. Really scared.  No, actually, almost paralyzed with fear. I had never felt afraid of heights before. At least not to that point. 

 I told my son to just go on up. That I'd wait at the bottom.  He disagreed. He told me that this is the reason I came here.  He walked back down the stairs he had already ascended, stood in front of me, and told me to step up.   He stayed right in front of me as I slowly, sometimes whining,  made my way up 80 steps to the top.  He kept telling me how many steps we had left.  He kept telling me I was doing great.  I joked that I brought him there to climb the fire tower and now I was being a baby.  "Nope, nope. It's OK Mom.  You're almost there and the views are going to be great." 

And they were.  The  views were everything they said they would be.  Even though I felt really uncomfortable up there I took photos in every direction.  There was the Hudson, there were the mountains, and a bridge, oh and look at the really neat barn!  

So after many photos, and ooh-ing and aah-ing over the views, we decided to go down.  That's when the real fun began.  I could not make myself take that first step down.  Once again my son stepped down a few stairs, turned around, and told me to turn around backward and come down it as if it were a ladder.  Oh boy, coming down was so much worse than going up.  But, my son stayed right there with me, counting the steps for me to each landing.  It took us forever, but I slowly made my way down.  My legs were a little shaky when we got to the ground, but I was glad that I had done it.  And I was also glad it was done!

So why am I telling you this story? Because I realized that day that without my son's support I would never have gone to the top of that fire tower.  I wouldn't have even gone up part of the way.  And if by any miracle of a chance I had gone up, I think I'd still be there, whining, because I would be so afraid to come down!

Isn't it amazing how someone's support can help us get past that "thing."  Whatever that "thing" is for you?  I know for me, the people who love me and support me, in whatever I do, make me stronger. They make me braver.  Who is it in your life who does that for you? I hope you have many people who support you, but also always know - that's what we're here for too! We want you to feel stronger and braver and supported here in our FOL community.  I know all of us here feel that way because of YOUR support!  Thank you for that.  :)




12 comments:

Jeanne said...

Great story and how wonderful that your son was with you and could see your "bravery" in spite of yourself. Doing something like that always makes you feel good afterwards, and hey... post some of those great shots. I was just like that up on the Eiffel tower, stood there hanging on to a girder for life, unwilling to let go....
Good for you

Barb Brookbank said...

I read this with great interest. Congratulations on "reaching the top". I know just how you felt - I had a similar experience once, but it was my hubby who encouraged me. Sounds like you have an amazing son.

Carol said...

OK, OK, I am the one who did NOT go up the Eiffel Tower and regretted it. How many time will I get the chance to see Paris from the air? Judy , I am so proud of you to be brave enough to overcome.
But the bigger statement here is how wonderful and patient and helpful and kind your son is. Let's just start with the fact that he goes with you at all. Isnt it wonderful when high school is over, and your kids WANT to be with you again?This is a lovely tribute to your son, and you and your mothering. Im alll warm and fuzzy now!

Katie said...

not only is this a wonderful tribute to your son, but a wonderful tribute to you as a mother for raising a child this caring and kind. you should be proud of both yourselves!

CarolHart said...

Great post. Your son was awesome! You have done a good job raising him.

Deanna said...

What a great story, Judy. I love that your son was right with you, counting the steps, encouraging you which I am sure you did exactly that for him in his younger days. I am happy that you did make it to the top and was able to see the beauty that surrounded you.

Linda said...

This is a great story! Your son is awesome! He learned it somewhere....

kelly said...

yay judy!! kuddos to you for overcoming your fear and getting to the top. what an amazing view! and a special memory with your sweet boy to boot. so awesome judy.

i too am sometimes crippled with fear. mostly of really putting myself out there. but i am blessed with family and friends who support and encourage me. who gently push when i need it.

so thankful for the friends i've made here who inspire and encourage me. xoxo



Dotti said...

So wonderful to hear about how your son cared for you through this challenge. I would have been right there with you, I don't like heights. Whenever I go up in a tower or lighthouse, I hang on for my life. If the wind blows even slightly, I get nervous. At the Grand Canyon, I stayed three feet back from the edge while my family all scooted up as far as they dared. No, not me. I have a respect for heights. (That's a better way to put it, isn't it?) Good for your son, good for you, and bravo to a wonderful shared memory.

Susan W said...

What a wonderful son you have.

terriporter said...

Whew, such a crazy day and I've been trying to get here to tell you how much I love this post! Really warms a mother's heart to hear how your son took care of you through this little (not so little?) challenge. We know we've raised them right when they do something like that. I'm not sure all the loving coaxing could have gotten me to do what you did, so bravo! And you got a great shot while you were up there! As Dotti said, this is something you and your son will always remember.

Sarah Huizenga said...

It sounds like you have a pretty awesome son. Congratulations on making it to the top and conquering your fear, and for getting back down again :)

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