When I found out I was pregnant with my first son, I was scared out of my mind. I was a Barbie type of playing girl – even though I loved my brother’s Legos. But I am also very much a sports loving kinda girl, so I figured I would be fine.
From the second I gave birth, I looked at him, and he was my Monkey. Monkey Face is his nickname. There have been variations of this nickname over the years as he’s gotten older, but the “monkey” part has always stuck. Even the first Halloween he could go Trick or Treating, he was a monkey. The name just fits.
As he got older, I’ve noticed that this nickname was PERFECT! The child really IS my monkey. He loves to climb trees – loves to climb anything he possibly can actually. How is this for a parents who is absolutely scared shitless of heights? Scarier than words could ever ever explain! The world is his jungle gym.
Last week we were in San Marino (a small country in Italy..) and we were high. And I don’t just mean a little – we were hundreds of feet up. There are small castles to walk to – three in total. You hike through the paths laid out to get there. I was watching my own footing going from one castle to another – and I hear my son yell “Mom, look! They are playing soccer!”. I look up at him and he is on the second step of the railing – looking over the side. I am not kidding when I say my heart stopped. I am already scared myself, and this didn’t help. He doesn’t understand that what he did was “scary” – especially when he sees adults doing the same thing. To him, all he wanted was to see the cool teams playing soccer – do you really blame a six year old?!?!
My husband ended up taking pictures of him when I wasn’t looking knowing I wouldn’t “approve” – which I very much appreciate! Although I was shocked seeing pictures afterwards, I am very happy I didn’t see the picture being taken!
When we were in Bruges, there are canals to walk around. Of course, asking to take his picture doesn’t just make him turn and say cheese. It means, “let me climb up on the ledge and see if Mommy’s heart will stop when I get up here because I can’t swim”.
When we were in Madeira, Portugal, we decided to take our rental car to the top of the third highest peak of the island (you have to hike from the third to the second highest and the highest..). About halfway up, you are already above the clouds – and the road is a narrow little road. Two cars barely fit, plus you are on the edge of the mountain. Sure, there’s a railway, but if a car wants to go over, the car will go over. The kids are getting a total kick out of the fact we are “higher than the clouds Mom!”. Myself on the other hand, was almost having a panic attack. I was trying to keep it inside as to not scare the kids, but every time they would even speak, whether a whisper or a normal voice, I was like “guys, Daddy is driving, you need to stop speaking”. My husband on the other hand thought I was absolutely hilarious. “Meg, the kids are fine! You gotta relax”. Sure, easy for you to say… In the end, we made it to the top in one piece, and had a wonderful time!
In Paris, my parents took the kids on the Ferris Wheel – which they all adored. Hubby and I stayed down and watched. I ended up finding the kids as it was going around – my “monkey” standing up almost putting his hand through the closed and locked doors – he wasn’t going anywhere. Of course, my body didn’t care – to me he was just too high and I had to look away. Hubby laughed at me again – as did my parents when I told them why I didn’t wave or look at them the second time the Ferris Wheel went in its circle.
I made the “mistake” of telling my son his nickname. Not really a mistake of course, I love telling him memories of when he was little. But when the “but I’m your monkey, you told me so yourself!” gets thrown back into my face, it was a “mistake”.
Check out photos below of my Monkey Face always doing something a little “different”. He hates just standing with us to take a picture, he is always doing something I would see as “scary” – but he is just being himself.
Before though, let me make it totally clear – his climbing and jumping and being my little daredevil is in no way a bad thing. It is a Mommy problem being scared of heights, not even close to being a son problem. I wouldn’t change his daredevil-ness for the world. He always makes me discover new things when we travel because of it. In San Marino I would have never had the balls to look over the edge to find the soccer game happening at the bottom of the mountain. When he looks over the edge into the water he always finds something cool – whether it be a duck, or a beautiful flower floating on by; something I would never look on my own to find. I think instead of trying to change him, I should try to change me, become more of a daredevil myself. Maybe then I wouldn’t need my six year old to find “cool stuff” for me, I would discover them on my own! ❤