My neck hurts like hell. Thanks Mom!

Seriously folks. My neck really hurts.

I didn’t sleep wrong or hurt it doing some weird kind of head-bob dance move. I don’t dance.

Nope. I hurt it looking up. Granted, I was looking up for several hours. I was not at an air show. I was at a climbing gym.

We have been trying to find something physical that will spark some passion for my oldest daughter. It hasn’t been easy. Soccer, gymnastics, dance, tennis, soccer again…. we tried just about everything that is open to a suburban middle-class family. I mean we tried everything!

Then she asked to have her birthday at a climbing gym. Or maybe my wife suggested it, and my daughter agreed. The spark was immediate. Her friends had fun, but she took it personally. Each route was a challenge.

For Christmas I “gave” her 5 trips to the climbing gym. We would have gone anyway, but making it a gift put a little bit of a shine on it. It also allowed us to buy one less gift.

Since she only weighs 50 pounds she can’t belay my 195# frame, so all of our time at the climbing gym is dedicated to her doing the climbing. I don’t mean an hour or two. I mean 4-5 solid hours of me holding the rope and looking up. It’s hell on my neck, and she refuses to come down until she is 50′ up at the end of the route.

I wish I could count the hours that my mother spent, freezing in the ocean driven fog and mist, in the stands of the Little League field where I played for years and years or the hours spent making sure dinner was ready before driving me to practice at one of many fields. I will never be able to count the hours she invested in my life.

Thanks Mom. Thank you very much.

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