My oldest daughter Lorna had the line of the weekend. She overheard me talking about the AON stair climb a few days before the event. I was recalling how, when she was just six weeks old, I carried her up the stairs in a baby bjorn, which is kind of like a front-facing back pack. She apparently has heard this story more than a few times. She interrupted my telling of it this time to say, "Dad, you tell that story every year!"
I guess she's right. And I guess that means I've been doing this stair climb for quite a number of years, considering she just turned ten.
Although it's a little better story than the one I don't tell as often about how the year before she was born I did the climb without ever going to bed the night before following a night of celebrating a landmark birthday. I made the most of my 'pre-children' days!
Anyway, I have always been committed to this stair climb along with ABC-7, which is the media sponsor, because it benefits a truly worthy cause: The Lurie Children's Hospital foundation. The great volunteers and sponsors make this a memorable climb every year, and it's really nice to be associated with them.
So despite my daughter's rebuke, I brought her and two of her younger sisters along for the climb Sunday. But this year, for the first time, I didn't have to find a way to keep them occupied while i did the climb. They were all going to climb it themselves!
My five and six year olds were a little skeptical, so they decided to do the 40 story climb, or halfway. So I accompanied them, and brought the camera along!
Of course that meant I didn't get to do the full climb myself, but my pride in seeing them smiling as they climbed the stairs more than made up for that!
And it turned out that we were able to finish 40 floors and ride the elevator to the top, and still have enough time for me to climb down a couple flights and catch my oldest just finishing up. She was barely breathing hard!
Of course she accused me of cheating by taking the elevator, and claimed she would have beaten me it we had both raced. Clearly she's Daddy's girl!
Despite the joking around, she was obviously proud of her accomplishment of climbing to the top. And I was the proud Dad. I've been blessed with generally pretty healthy children. We were climbing with hundreds of other former patients, parents and others dedicated to helping support those who haven't been as fortunate.
It was a great time, as always. And best of all, next year, I will have a new story. The one about how one year all my kids did the stair climb....
See you on the roads......