I confess. When I ran up the “Rocky” stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art a couple of weeks ago, I was NOT wearing my stilettos. Plain ol’ Keds sneakers were my running shoes of choice that day. So sue me—I’ve still got the bragging rights!
I was in Philly with my older son to visit with my younger daughter who’s going to art school there. Somehow when I’d booked the flights, following in Sylvester Stallone’s footsteps up those imposing steps was about the furthest thing from my mind. All I wanted to do was hang out with my kids, play with the pug, cuddle the cat, see the new life my baby had carved out for herself. But when in Rome…
For three days we walked and talked, hung out at the apartment, hiked gorgeous forest paths and ravines with the dog rambling on ahead like a stout little barrel on short legs, toured her art studio, saw the Liberty Bell, ate out, dined in, cooked Jiffy Pop popcorn on the gas stove and settled in for a movie per night on DVD. It was an absolutely heavenly, relaxing trip from start to finish.
But the stairs beckoned to me all weekend, and finally, on the afternoon before we left, we swung by the museum. At least, I said, to get a picture with the “Rocky” statue. My daughter thought it was funny. My son thought it was ridiculous. A couple of teenage boys launched themselves past us and up the stairs as we stood at the bottom, staring up.
I started to hum the theme from the movie. My son rolled his eyes and banked his cigarette, then dutifully kept his crazy mother company. At the age of twenty-one, he ran faster, of course, but gallantly held back just before we got to the top so that I could catch up. My daughter caught the two of us a the top of the stairs, arms raised in triumph. Even with the zoom lens, we look about a pixel high in that one, but hey, WE know we’re in the picture!