Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

A Thing I Want to Remember

Last Friday Longmont had a City Party where they blocked off a chunk of Main street and they had lots of folks out on the street in booths. There were a dozen different Bouncy Castles, lots of food vendors, and right in the middle they had a huge art area with boxes of chalk out for anyone to draw with. They also had a huge Bubble Tower that would shower cascades of bubbles on everyone, an area with dozens of pairs of stilts for anyone to try, and a bunch of buckets with ropes attached to do an easier version of stilt walking. People were all over that and all over the chalk. That was cool.

All of the bouncy castles were free. There was also a climbing wall. I think it was a good thirty feet tall, with three automatic winches that they attached to full butt harnesses that were wrapped around the kid that wanted to climb. The line was HUGE, though the line for getting a bag of chips was half the size of that, and it took me a good half hour to just get Jet a bag of BBQ chips, but that's a different story.

When Jet got to the front, he got his harness on, and then got hooked up and away he went. About a third of the way up, he lost both right foot and hand holds and swung out like a door. He was above my head at that point, but that didn't faze him at all. He just frowned, and swung himself back a couple of times and then latched back on. He wasn't scared at all by that, and just kept going up. After that, though, he seemed to do more testing of his foot holds before the next hand hold. So I was glad of that.

At the very top, there was a cow bell for each of the faces of the wall. It was out of Jet's arm reach when he was at the top, as it was made for adults, I guess. He didn't hesitate. He just gathered his arms and legs and *LEAPT AWAY FROM THE WALL* at the bell. My heart stopped, I think, but he trusted that harness and belt completely and couldn't think of any other way to reach the bell.

The operator at the bottom shook his head and said, "Man, he's fearless!" He also caught Jet on the way down. The winch was made for much, much heavier people, and Jet came down very, very slowly when he let himself dangle on it. Then the operator praised Jet a lot for climbing the way he did and gave him a High 5. The interesting thing is that in all the time we'd been waiting in line, I hadn't actually seen the operator say much more than two words to any of the other kids, though he had smiled at a few of them and helped them expertly with their gear.

It was Jet's first time up a climbing wall. He loved it. He was sad about not actually hitting the bell; but we all waxed amazed at him getting all the way to the top on his first try. We'll have to do it again at the Rec. Center.
Tags: courage, jet

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