My Mother And I Share A Fear Of Heights, But Even When She Was Scared, She Would Never Let Me Fall
Start writing a post
Community

My Mother And I Share A Fear Of Heights, But Even When She Was Scared, She Would Never Let Me Fall

Going anywhere with me that involved heights, even if she was scared, she never let me fall.

98
My Mother And I Share A Fear Of Heights, But Even When She Was Scared, She Would Never Let Me Fall
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

When I was a little girl, I used to be terrified of the stairs in my grandmother's house. They were the kind that twisted round a pole, with each step almost overlapping the other. The dark metal steps were tucked away in a corner in the kitchen, twisting and winding themselves up to the second floor and disappearing through a large hole in the ceiling. Each step was shaped like a wedge, almost a perfect triangle of metal and rough carpet.

In my little girl brain, yet unable to determine distance, I felt that each step was about a foot above the next, making it far too easy for a skinny thing like myself to slip and fall right through. That was my fear every time I had to climb those stairs. Even with a thin rail snaking its way up, I needed to hold someone's hand, or simply climb up the stairs on all fours to ensure I wouldn't fall through and end up cracked on the kitchen floor. Still, the ordeal was always worth it. The dangerous trek up the spiral staircase was always rewarded with a fashion show in my younger cousin's room or a cold shower after a long day in the Coatzacoalcos heat.

But going up wasn't hard. It was the coming down that was truly terrifying. I would have dreams that one day I'd slip through the hole in the ground and fall, bouncing on every triangle shaped step on my way down. Going down, it was impossible to go on all fours, unless I wanted to risk the chances of descending backwards. Instead, I would wait until my mother or grandmother would squeeze my hand and carefully take me down the steps. My grandmother, also named Ana, would scold me as we walked down. "You're going too quickly, ten cuidado o te vas a caer!" It was never harsh though, the scolding. Just a force of habit, really, as Ana Emilia had done the same with her own daughter.

When Mariana Guadalupe Buces Beaumont was a little girl, she developed a terrible fear of heights. She lived on the third floor of a housing complex in Coatzacoalcos. The only stairs led straight down to an open space in the center of the building where all the children could be found playing. My mother never played with the children, though, because she could never bring herself to make it down the stairs.

The stairs in question trailed along the walls, rigidly making their way down to the ground floor. They were a dark metal, with large slats in between each step. And on the side not attached to the wall, there were no railings. Mariana was not allowed to go down those stairs without clinging to her mother's hand. Not that she really wanted to anyways; she was certain one slip would land her dead on the pavement, and playing with the other children didn't seem like that great of a reward.

Her mother, Ana Emilia, came from Xalapa, the capital city of Veracruz. And compared to the poorer women of the port city the family now resided in, Ana Emilia was viewed as nothing more than a stuck up, high class lady who went to church everyday. Stuck up and high class, she was not, but the neighbor women were correct about the frequent churchgoing. As it turns out, the more you go to church, the less your neighbors like you.

So as children are likely to do, they picked up the habits of their mothers and teased and tormented the four year old girl.
But Mariana Guadalupe Buces Beaumont was not raised to be weak. Her mother told her to take the high road, ignore the children and play on her own. "Do not stoop to their level," a phrase she would remind her own headstrong daughter in the years to come. "Be the bigger person."

But as I like to tell her, "I am 5 feet tall, I will never be the bigger person in any situation." My mother is stubborn, and I think it bothers her sometimes that I inherited that same stubbornness. I've not yet learned to harness it, whereas it seems my mother has always known which battles to fight (and who to beat up when necessary). But me? It's been nearly 21 years and I still haven't learned how to pick my battles.

I inherited a lot more than her stubbornness, though. She passed down her competitive streak, a trait I was once told was frightening (which I took as a compliment). I didn't get her dancing skills, but I got her creativity, her ability to make anything beautiful. I inherited her constant desire to be right about everything, which makes for quite the high noon stand-offs at home when we feel we're correct and the other is wrong. I got her face too; at least the bottom half. My smile is hers. And aside from my eyebrows (which are incredible, thank you Dad), my smile is my favorite part of my face.

I share her fear of heights too. It wasn't until years later, when the iron stairs were just a memory that my mom told me a secret. Going down those stairs with me, or going with me anywhere that involved heights, she was never scared. She knew I was and she was too worried about me to be scared. A lot has happened in the last 21 years with us. But throughout that whole time, even if she was scared, she never let me fall.

Happy Birthday, Mama.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1843
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

303942
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

190567
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

92732
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

286102

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

172244

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

114736
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

335093

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments