Monday, February 23, 2009


We had a little break from the norm. I had a little time this weekend away from the standard therapies in Lon Gilsland and found myself in the afternoon, afforded with some time. Time that I could just flippantly decide what to do. Not that there wasn't 1001 things I could and should be doing, but this was a day that I could do something frivolous for a change. First, I decided to take Livie out, because she had not had a weekend off either. Then, I thought, Gracie could also use getting out of the house. But, I freely admit my limitations and I would not attempt an excursion out with the two of them alone. I decided to bring Alyson along to be a second set of hands. Then Jason decided that he wanted to be included (much to the protestations of Aly). Finally, just before leaving, Dillan decided to join us.
OK, all five was not what I had signed up for, but that's the five cards I had drawn. We headed out for parts known on Route 36, a little known place called the Twin Lights of Navesink, the historic lighthouse overlooking Sandy Hook. Aly was looking for someplace indoors (translation: a mall or some place with games and rides), I was looking for a controllable place where all would be sufficiently awestruck to not run away or fight. The lighthouse fit the bill, although, I'm not sure Linda was happy about us climbing the stairs into the tower. We did a 'club sandwich' of sorts on the stairs with the girls; the two boys going first, Gracie next, Aly behind her, then Liv, then I followed up the rear to catch any falling debris. As expected, Grace shot up the spiral staircase rivaling the boys with her speed; Livie was tentative but consistent going up. The view was spectacular, but with my combination of acrophobia and kids-sqeezing-through-the-bars-or-jumping-down-the-stairs-Ofobia, I could not relax.
We did the obligatory 5 minutes at the top, then the real fear began; getting back down. The last set of stairs up to the top are very narrow, not much wider than say a good sized ladder for getting out of a pool. Again, of course, Gracie AKA SuperGracie had no fear nor trepidation going down; all she needed was three children to buttress her in case her head got ahead of her legs. Livie, is another story. As I went down the stairs backwards first and helped her down, I was reminded of the old joke about why Ginger Rogers was a better dancer than Fred Astaire: answer, she did all his moves backwards and in high heels. I didn't count the stairs, was it 60? 80? 1869 (# of Empire state Building steps)? It just seemed like it. I had Gracie's coat in the hand I was guiding Livie with and I was waiting for her to trip over it. I also had three kids saying "Where's dad and Livie?" No pressure.

We got out with no scrapes or screams (save Gracies expected protestations when we were leaving). We could not find our standard camera but we did have Aly's low budget camera, so we may have some record of the fact that I DID fly solo with all five kids not only to the lighthouse, but also a walk on the beach afterwards. There were only some minor skirmishes, half of which were due to my nervousness, so the gang was good to me...and to each other. Linda, although I didn't ask her, probably was unnerved by the eerie silence in the house...

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