Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Leif climbing the rocks - Hong Kong - April 1983 - Age 8

In April 1983 we went on a great trip from Japan, where we were living, to Hong Kong. The boys had a blast shopping. They bought things you wouldn't expect an eight-year-old and a fourteen-year-old to even look at, much less purchase. One thing they each bought was a snazzy "James Bond" style leather briefcase with built in combination lock. I'm not sure, but I think Peter A. still has his, and Leif still had his at least until his move from Kansas to Florida in 2005. They treasured those cases. I don't remember the other things they bought, except for Peter A.'s electronic chess set, but I know Leif did buy at least one cool toy.

We saw a great Chinese music and dance show, visited many places in Hong Kong, rode the Star Ferry, went to the jade market and Aberdeen. I think it was in Aberdeen that Leif was climbing on these rocks. As I've written, as a child, Leif never wanted to miss an opportunity to climb whatever was around to climb, and he was very good at it. It they had had those climbing walls that are around these days, I'm sure he would have loved them. He seemed fearless.

The odd thing was, he had a fear of heights, but it only manifested itself in places where he was very high up and there was no kind of enclosure around him or at least between him and the drop off, or nothing to hang onto. If he was climbing and had something solid to hang onto, he felt he had control. That was the whole issue, his being in control of the situation. I can't recall him ever falling when he was climbing.

I'm glad he had the chance to travel with us as a child, and some as an adult. I wish he'd been able to see all the incredible changes in Hong Kong when we visited it again in the October 2007, 24 years after he was there as an eight year old child.

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