In August, The Sugar and I went traveling. We took our annual girls trip together. We were supposed to go in July, but Sugar Bear got Fifth's Disease, and my truck had a leaky transmission line. Things got postponed, and we ended up traveling the weekend before my return to work, so it felt like the last "hurray" of summer indeed.
One of our stops along the way found us visiting the Astoria Column. We had stopped in there last summer, but it was closed for renovation. It sure seemed like a happy coincidence that the day we dropped by to visit was the Grand Opening of the monument.
One can not help but be taken with awe of the beautiful column. The artwork is amazing. The deep earthtones contrasted so wonderfully with the overcast sky. I'd love to see it on a blue sky day as well.
With a friend in tow, we proceeded to climb the spirling staircase inside the monument. There are 164 steps to tackle.....
which seem to narrow as you go. I seriously got dizzy within the first 30.
Another interesting thing befell this poor mama. For the first time in my life, I became completely and totally terrified of heights. I had a death grip on Sugar Bear's hand as we climbed up, up, up. Every single time we had to cling to the side of the stairs to let someone going down by, the panic rose to another level. As you can see in the pictures, there is a very real possibility for a small person (aka. Sugar Bear) to slip and fall between the wall and the staircase. Thus falling up to 125 feet. Seriously people.....my grip on my poor child's hand was like a vice. Several times, she yelped out, "you are hurting me mama!" I'd try to ease up, but my fear only heightened. I was able to snap these shots on the way back down, while my friend held Sugar Bear's hand as well.
Once at the top, you opened a door to the outer deck, and immediately you are met with stunning views. Myself, however, was accosted by ever rising fear, and panic. Sugar tried to run to the railing, and I nearly had a heart attack. As I continued to hold her hand like my life depended on it, and assessed the situation. The railing was a couple feet higher than Sugar. The steel bars were 3 inches apart......but on my gosh it is so high. Before I could stop it, my voice rang out....."There is absolutely NO way she can fall, right?" Several people looked at me, and a nice man grabbed the bars and tried to shake them, while saying, "No ma'am. I already tested it. These bars aren't moving!" I reluctantly let go of Sugar's hand, and watched in terror as she lunged for the bars. I followed, and tried to enjoy the views.
Each and every time I tried to put the camera to my face, I found myself so fearful to let my eyes off of Sugar. I finally asked my friend to hold her hand so that I may snap a few shots.
I rushed through a few frames, and then turned my attention back to Sugar Bear. How was she doing?
She looks scared in that shot, doesn't she? Well she wasn't. She was cold. It was rather windy up there 125 feet in the air. Being that it was the Grand Re-opening of the monument, they had a fun activity for the kids. Each one had a chance to release a small balso wood airplane from the top. How exciting.
After being up there for 5 minutes of so, I was able to let some of my anxiety go. Sugar Bear was very excited to set her plane to flight.
She was the only child there at the time, and everyone up there was rooting her on. It was a bit overwhelming for her, being that she is very shy of strangers, but she persevered and let it fly. It spiraled down, down down, and landed in the grass below. Watching it go was the first time that day, I forgot to be afraid.
In an effort to be more present in photos of our days, I asked my friend to take a photos of my girl and me. You gotta love the wind, and my extremely nervous smile.
Being who I am, I wanted to analyze my fear that day. I have never been afraid of heights and I do believe I am not. What I am afraid of.....losing my daughter. If I had been there without her, I have no doubt that I would have bound up those stair (getting dizzy as I spun), and happily snapped shot after shot. Having her with me nearly paralyzed me with fear. Anyone else have a similar experience? I'd love to hear about it.
Have a wonderful Friday!