Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Ascent

At the bottom of the observation tower, they are debating the climb.

"I have been on an airplane before," Edmund says to his mom, "I do not need to see the world from higher up."

"Airplanes go very high in the air. This is much lower. It is a different view."

"Airplanes have to go low first before they go higher."

Hillary tips her water bottle up to her mouth and watches Edmund wipe his rec specs with a lintless cloth. After a second: "But they go over a runway or whatever. This is a state park! Don't you want to see a state park?"

"I can see the pictures on Flickr. I'll make one your desktop background," Edmund says.

His mom sighs dramatically. "Oh, I knew you'd be too scared. It's probably too high for you anyway."

"I'm nine, mom. That doesn't work anymore."

He is not a bad kid, and they get along fine. This isn't a fight - it's genuinely a debate, and one Hillary knows she can win.

"Have fun biking home, then. I'll see you tonight." She turns smartly and marches briskly over to the observation tower.

Edmund laughs and rolls his eyes. "Okay, mom, whatever."

He pales a little when he realizes she is showing no signs of turning around.


She disappears through the heavy concrete doorway.

He drops his helmet and runs after her, calling: "Mom! Mom!"

At the top, he is reconsidering his original position. "It's nice and breezy up here. I like the smell of the ocean and stuff. You should have mentioned the breezes."

She ruffles his hair even though she knows he hates that.

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