Friday, July 31, 2009

I have a bridge to show you

Big Dog was born in San Francisco, my favorite city in the world. We left when he was quite small, but because I have a special connection with San Francisco I try to foster a connection for him as well. One thing that has captured his imagination is the Golden Gate Bridge. I have drawn this for him many times, and now that he's older he incorporates it into his own drawings as well. He's seen photos and talks about going to the bridge whenever we talk about San Francisco. Last week we took him to San Francisco for the first time since he was a toddler. His one request was to see the Golden Gate Bridge.

As we drove in the city on our way to the freeway, Big Dog spied the Bay Bridge. "Look! The Golden Gate Bridge!" he announced.
"No, that's the Bay Bridge. We'll go to the Golden Gate soon, I promise," I corrected.
At this point, completely unknowable to me the bridge moved from reality to fantasy. For some reason, it ceased to exist as part of the real world.

At breakfast the day we were planning to see the Golden Gate, we told him of the day's agenda. "The Golden Gate Bridge isn't real," he responded with absolute certainty in his voice.
"I promise you it does," I said, "You'll see soon."
"No. It doesn't," he replied again. We continued to try to argue the existence with our stubborn boy, but to no avail. I finally relented, I figured he'd see for himself in a bit and that would be the end of that.

Boy was I wrong. As we drove down Lombard approaching the bridge, it was shrouded in fog. Not surprising for San Francisco, but kind of disappointing since I wanted to show my boys the full glory of the bridge backed with the blue sky. But as we drove up, I pointed out the bridge, I told Big Dog, "Look! The Golden Gate Bridge!"
"No, that's the Bay Bridge," he replied, completely non-plussed.
"No, the Bay Bridge is the other bridge."
"No. You're wrong." This kid gets his stubborn streak from someone, so I knew this wasn't going to be easy. As we neared the bridge, I pointed out signs. He ignored them. I reminded him of the bridge's unique color. He shrugged it off. Everything I tried fell flat.
Finally, after driving across my favorite bridge, we pulled to the vista point in Marin. We took in the view overlooking San Francisco. I called him to my side and pointed to the bridge in the distance. "See Big Dog, that is the Bay Bridge."
"No, that's the Golden Gate."
Infuriating. Stubborn. Just like his mama.

He later relented and admitted we'd been on the Golden Gate, but not before raising my blood pressure to a presumably unsafe level.


geekymummy said...

You just have to come back in the fall when it is sunny!
I still remember my very first glimpse of the golden gate bridge, from the window of Virgin flight 19 as it brought me to San Francisco for the very first time, with all my worldly goods in two suitcases. The captain helpfully pointed out which bridge was which to us newbies!

Beth said...

San Francisco is my favorite city, too. I love this story as much as I love your admitting your stubborn streak. :)

Mrs. F said...

San Francisco has to be my favorite city in the whole world. Not that I have seen much of the world, but whenever I think of running away from everything, it is always to SF.

Cute story!

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