France Day 25: Chamonix Herself

It was our first morning without Geoff.  We walked to the grocery store that morning, and I bought Butterscotch and Bittykins each a hotdog and a Coke.  We walked and ate on the street, stopping at their every whim, gazing in storefronts and talking to people who stopped us frequently to tell me how cute they were. "J'ai trois ans!" she'd say, delightedly...

"Grrrrr!" he'd say....

It's always one of them.

We walked all the way down to the post office to catch a little tourist train, even though we'd already walked half the town as it was.  It was a nice diversion and helped me figure out how the rest of town connected together.  I also figured out our route to the Aiguille du Midi lift.

Unfortunately, after getting there, we discovered Bittykins was too small for the lift, despite her age.  There was no way, they told us.  She wouldn't make it.  The thin air, the pace of the altitude change...her ears wouldn't be able to keep up.  And without Geoff there to stay with her, I couldn't take Butterscotch up, either.  So we visited the gift shop (where we saw an incredible red Playmobil cable car set I would have bought him if I thought I could ship it home or carry it with me through the Paris Metro in addition to my growing baby belly and a backpack and keeping up with Bittykins).  Then we left.  But I didn't forget about the cable car.  I bet we can build one at home out of Legos and dental floss and make it go down the stairwell.  We spent the rest of our afternoon about town, shopping, napping, and later, out for ice cream.

Meanwhile, just as we would have arrived at the top of the Aiguille du Midi, Geoff was topping out.  I was sure to look at my watch.  A would-have-been 12:17 departure would have meant meeting him just as he came over the edge at 12:31, to much applause from the tourists who'd all just taken the easy way up.  He's a brave soul.  I miss him.  He is the energy and lifeblood of our family.  He lights up the house when he comes home, even when he's tired.  I love the way he smells...is this getting too personal?  Probably.  I just love him so much.  I appreciate when I get him back.

Several months ago, I was standing in a friend's backyard having impromptu pizza picnic dinner.  As I watched Tim cut up the kids' pizza slices with scissors (which I now do - so much easier than a knife), the two men there asked where Geoff was, and I told him he was out climbing for the day.  They gave me baffled faces, as if the idea of going off to do whatever they wanted sounded unfathomable.

But really?  What's my other choice?  Stifle him?  There is no harm in what he's doing, except for the inherent risk of the activity.  And I trust him to make good decisions.  I don't really feel like in a good marriage, you should keep the other person from doing what they love.  Sometimes, that's being with me.  Sometimes, that's climbing.  And I'm OK with that.  Because for me, sometimes it's him.  And sometimes, it's photography and videos.  Pursuing other passions helps everyone breathe.

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