Monday, February 09, 2009

Climbing Walls: Rite of Passage

Anyone who has read Dia Calhoun's FIREGOLD knows a thing or two about rites of passages. Harrowing rites. In the real world, there are the bar mitvahs and bat mitvahs. Quinceneras. And I suppose, Sweet Sixteens. But...what about a rite of passage that's uniquely American to celebrate the crossing from tweendom to teendom?

So as my son's 13th birthday approached, I'd been brainstorming about creating our own rite of passage to demarcate the end of his official childhood and the beginning of his manhood. As the Big Day neared, I had a few other personal things I needed to attend to and I was coming up empty on ideas. My friend, Lorie Ann, however, gave me a serious tushy kicking about my son's rite of passage. I'm so glad she did!

So...I challenged my guy to face his fear of heights and booked us for a lesson at our local climbing gym, Vertical World (which is where I researched part of Nothing but the Truth and a few white lies). There, he mustered his courage and scaled FIVE walls (count 'em, FIVE) as if he had been born in the Himalayas! Bhutan Boy, that's my little man!

Which, of course, inspired me to get in my harness. As it did my daughter. But what got me to the tippy top of the most challenging wall of the night? My kids down below who promised, "Mom, we'll do the laundry next week if you reach the top!"

Heh heh. Now, that's what I call inspiration. Fear conquered! The laundry fairies are visiting Chez Headley this week. Woo hoo!

Today, I give thanks to my kids--my young man and little girl--who think I'm weird but are up for my ideas anyway.


Dia Calhoun said...

Yay for all of you for reaching the top!

Little Willow said...

Rock on! Kudos to all of you!

tanita s. davis said...

How very cool!
People tend to think the Big Birthdays like 18 or whatev are the ones to celebrate and talk about rites of passage, but I think that 13 is a big one, too. My sister is turning 13 next Monday, so now I'm going to brainstorm about what she can do to mark this special time.

Go, Laundry Fairies!

Priya said...

Oh my gosh, I've been to Vertical World too...I recognize those walls! Congratulations on getting to the top!

Jone said...

Way cool! A great rite of passage activity. You are brave.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Woohoo! Reaching for the top!

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