Feeling High

 On a muggy afternoon this past week, Luke and I finally got to have our day with Scout, Jem, and Atticus. I promised I would keep you posted about the results of the theater ticket purchase that drove me a little insane. Let me fill you in on our mother/son adventure.

     Shall I start with our seats? Or perhaps I should start with my fear of heights? In case you didn’t know, I am actually one of those nutters who finds it hard to get on some escalators when shopping in the mall. Does it have glass sides? Can I see through to where I could possibly fall to my death? My knees automatically buckle and I start to feel nauseous. Those are a no-go for me since I was a child and yes, this fear has plagued me my whole life. So when I bought balcony seats, there was a tiny little voice, not a terribly loud one, nagging in the corner of my mind. As you all know, however, there was no clear nor calculated thought process happening when I purchased those tickets, and I had been ignoring my gut as well.

     We ascended the stairs and were greeted by an usher. “Hey,” I thought to myself, “these seats aren’t half bad!”

     “One more flight up to the balcony,” the usher informed us. 

     Darn! We continued upward, got to the top, walked to the center stairwell, and I immediately wanted to vomit. Saying we were high up is un understatement. Just looking down, I wasn’t even sure I was going to make it to my seat. I proceeded onward, because quite frankly, this has been a year of me facing my fears and also because what the hell else was I going to do. I walked down those stairs crouched over, gripping every single handrail I could get a hold of so as not to be without maintaining some kind of upper body contact to a stable post. The woman in her 70’s in front of me was cooking down the stairs as I practically crawled behind her. I made it through to the center of row D, carefully sat down holding tight to the armrest, and telling Luke, “For the love of God, I don’t know if I can do this.” Lovely mother that I am, I passed down my fear of heights to him and he looked at me and said, “Yeah, this is a tough one.” In both of our defenses, the woman sitting beside me turned to us and said, “Tough for me too. And I’m really sorry but when my daughter comes back from the bathroom, you’re going to have to stand up to let her pass.” Great.

Not the best picture, primarily because it was taken one-handed. I was still gripping the arm rest.

     I don’t know if you’ve ever been on the Soarin’ ride in Epcot Center down in Disney World, but that’s what it felt like to me. Now for most people, that ride is nothing. Just a joyride through the sky. When I went on it with my dad about five years ago, the two of us screamed like babies the whole time, while the five-year-old next to me looked on in confusion at the two pitiful adults next to her.

     So there I sat, crapping myself, as I was “soarin’” above the theater, praying that I could actually sit through the show. The lights dimmed, Scout came out, and bam, I fell into the story. About a half hour in I finally stopped gripping the arm rest.

     As I stated in my last blog, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books and true to form, this play did not disappoint. You know what else did not disappoint? The conversation my son and I shared, as we had a meal together and unpacked the more heady, complex and emotional parts of the play, and laughed about the parts that managed at times, to keep it light. When did my boy become this adult who could converse and critically dissect societal wrongs, the perspectives of other people, and the subtle nuances of particular lines and scenes? No amount of upward vertical footage could have prevented me from seeing that show and having those moments with Luke. Well, maybe rows F and G, but thank God we’ll never have to find that out. Because pertaining to theater tickets, I now have one more criterion to consider when purchasing.  NO MORE BALCONIES! Once again, lesson learned and as we all know, the only true error is the one we don’t learn from. They weren’t the best tickets, but clearly, it was the best day. 

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