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Wordless Wednesday, Now With Words and Punctuation Marks!

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Wordless Wednesday is this meme where you post a picture of something or someone, that tells a story without words.

I’m not really good with rules.  You know this.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Fall Festival at the big YMCA a few miles from home (because we like to spend ass-tons of money like that).  It’s the Super Target of YMCA’s, because it has a lake, cabins, volleyball courts, and several acres.  They also have a 40-foot climbing tower, and when we arrived, that was the first thing we saw.  Connor was super excited about climbing it.

That's my kid, kicking that tower's ass!!!

What’s amazing about this, is that there was a live rock band performing on stage, about a hundred yards away.  Talk about sensory overload!

He climbed and he climbed, and I cheered and I cheered.  At almost the very top, he got scared and called down that he couldn’t do it.


Every molecule of my being was focused on him, urging him to the top, straining to push him up the last steps with the sheer force of my thoughts.  I was sure I was going to stroke out.

He let go briefly and dangled, but then caught hold of the rope ladder in the middle, and finished the climb.  Standing on the platform at the top, he called down, “I can see EVERYTHING from up here!”

And Oh. My. Gawd. did I cry like a baby. I was so goddamn proud, I thought I would bust open like a pinata.

It wasn’t just the tower.

It was the four months of daily desensitization it took to transition him from a bottle to a sippy cup.  It was working slowly up to table food at the age of two.  It was occupational therapy, and ABA therapy, and finally being potty trained at the age of four, and floor time therapy, and medication changes, and aggression management and social skills therapy.

It was a metaphor for every fucking mountain we’ve climbed, or, more appropriately, that I’ve had to drag him up kicking and screaming.

And it was hope for every other mountain that we still have to climb.  Because we don’t always have a lot of that, do we?  When we’re up to our elbows in shit, and we haven’t slept a full night in longer than we can remember, and we work ten times as hard for half the payoff, and we think “I don’t know how I’m ever going to get through this, it’s just too much.”

It was a good day; a day I will pull off the shelf and dust off, from time to time, when the going gets tough and the mountain too steep.

He needed this.

I needed this.

And I needed a vodkatini, after the $87 we spent on this outing.



About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

16 responses »

  1. That climb looks high and scary. No way you’re getting ME up there! WAY TO GO CONNOR!!!

  2. I was a nervous wreck just looking at that picture!! But you are sooo, sooo right. When the hard work and struggle and fatigue give way to accomplishment. . . .that is sweet. Good job, Connor! And good job, Flan, for being an awesome mommy. Thanks for the reminder that it’s all worth it. It’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes.

    There is no better way to cap off an $87 outing than with a $12 vodkatini.

    Good post.

  3. Oh Holy Shitballs, I’m afraid of heights and that’s making my palms sweat like faucets just looking at that. But way to go Connor and Flan. It’s so nice to see him up at the top, you should be beaming!

    I’m always amazed at how far our kids have come and the strength of their wills to keep going. I know that has a lot to do with you standing behind him urging him on. Way to go Flan, way to go!!!

  4. Go Conner!!! I love heights- looks like fun.

  5. OMG – thanks for making me cry!! You said this so beautifully for the metaphor that Connor’s climb stands for. It’s all so true.

    I cannot even imagine climbing that thing and there is NO way I’d let my clumsy kid try so I have to salute both of you!! Wow! Now, tell me, how did he get back down??

    • Thank you for your flattery.

      I left out the getting down part….they rode a zip line down, that zoomed them across the lake. It was the super-cool payoff for finishing the climb.

  6. Shut. The. Front. Door!

    Your YMCA has a freaking lake?! Cabins???!!! Acres?!

    We belong to the YMCA and we feel fancy just because it has an indoor and outdoor pool. And a few picnic tables with BBQs – we call it our “ghetto country club”

  7. I have MAJOR goosebumps reading this and can feel your excitement all the way in Missouri. What a fantastic day! Well, not the $87 part. That sucks a monkey, but holy hell. He was on top of the world.

  8. Dear Post, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

    Wow, can I identify with this post. You just expressed it so perfectly, the daily struggles and battles that lead to Wins and Progress we could only dream of in the beginning. And that’s with me being a pretty long way behind you in terms of experience!!

    Kudos to Connor for making it!! And to you for being such an awesome, supportive mom!! What a great post!! A joy to read!

  9. YAE! that is not only an awesome picture, but a fantastic acomplishment!

  10. Awesome! We all have our mountains to climb and you did a great job capturing that, not only in the picture, but in your words. *tear*


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