Climb Mama

This is me, flush faced at the Santa Monica stairs yesterday. It was the first time I'd visited in probably six to nine months. So yes, if I look shocked and confused, that's why. That's not true. I look like that because 1) I am incapable of taking a selfie because I do not know where to look, plus 2) I was embarrassed that I was vain enough to take one so I was rushing so I wouldn't be seen taking it nor would I have any riff raff running into my shot. As such, I only took this one in which I am clearly trying to figure out where to look. (Insert stereotypical granny voice here) “How do you kids work these newfangled gadgets?” 3) Any but of photogenic capacity I once had disappeared in the past few years leaving my in a state of panic when I know my picture is being taken. Sometimes I will myself not to kick the phone out of people's hands as they shoot. Especially if it's mine.

As I parked at the stairs I thought, five laps. As I was doing five, I thought two sets of three is a better way to split it up, so six. At five, you're gonna do seven. It's your favorite number. At seven, I have the time, so why not 10? Then I wasn't sure if I'd done 10 so I did a couple more. So I did anywhere from 10 to 12 laps and it felt like dragging your suitcase in the front door and getting purrs and meows after a week in Italy. And that's a glimpse into my machinations.

I was doing the stairs more regularly when Caid was little andI I'd put him in the carrier, or before that when he was in my belly. It's no surprise that when he finds sets of mini stairs that fit his legs he does laps. l think that he thinks that's why they are there. Up down repeat. I haven't taken him to these stairs since he started walking, which is probably the marker of my last visit, knowing he would want to do them with me. I have stopped doing certain things in order to have more time with Caid. I miss many of those things yet I don't regret choosing him. I can be comfortable in my choice and still lament what I'm missing. That's my right. If I was a younger mom, I would probably miss going out, but clearly since I can't take a selfie and I'm posting on a Saturday night, that's a non-issue. As I miss things that I could do more of pre-baby, I also know I will continue to feel more and more independent as he gets older. That has nothing to do with the glimpses of his tantrums I've seen: squeal of some kind followed by thrown item (with exquisite follow through), looks over either in defiance or expectation of accolades on said form.

This flight of stairs, 170 wooden steps and yes I googled that, a place where I've spent so much time over the years, presented an unexpected juxtaposition of my current versus my former life. I used to do 20 laps a visit, I did 30 once just to see how it would feel (felt the same as 20, just took longer). Doing these laps yesterday was like visiting with an old friend and falling back into the same banter -- every other stair, then every third stair, going sideways, glute extension, jumping or sprinting them, running every step of running every other. It brought back memories of so many different periods of my life and the emotions of those periods. This physical place and this act of going up and down stairs is a form of meditation for me.

I was scared how my body would feel today but it's surprisingly good. It's not like I'm not doing anything, but these stairs will serve you your ass on a platter if you haven't visited in a bit. It was nice to know I can go back without too much punishment. They will be there when time allows me to drop in. For today, I'm rocking Caid while he naps with his head in my inner arm and his ever-growing little paw on my shoulder. This is a non-permanent place I will miss tremendously as captured in the second picture. The third pic is accidental art. After taking the stairs selfie, I shoved the phone back into the back of my pants and while running up, captured this abstract self portrait of my ass. (No, that's not crack.) I'm much more successful when I'm not worried about where to look.

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