adam at Battery Spencer

On our first evening in San Francisco, I took Adam across the bridge to wander Battery Spencer. We stayed there for a couple hours. In case you’re not overly familiar with San Francisco, Battery Spencer is one of many old seacoast military fortifications around the city that were originally built to defend it against invasion. In the course of exploration, these batteries seem to pop up everywhere you turn. A lot of them are simply crumbling in-ground concrete bunkers and rusty doors, with grass and trees growing on top. I think they’re interesting to explore. But to tell you the truth, after a couple days stumbling upon them I was glad as a matter of course that we’d end up spending more of our time in the city proper. Because I got tired of explaining army stuff to Adam. It was opening up a can of worms.

In the same vein, I was having regrets a few days later when I took Adam to Alcatraz. We met a friend of mine for the Alcatraz tour and ended up having a pleasant time for a beautiful morning walk around the island (God, I’m so glad I’m not in jail). All turned out fine. But the night before I lay awake staring at the ceiling thinking “you idiot…..why are you taking your son to a notorious prison? So you can scare him onto the straight and narrow path?” I woke Diana up out of a sound sleep to tell her I was having bad regrets. In one breath she tells me she did think it was a tad strange of me to have us go there with Adam but that I shouldn’t worry because he’d probably be focused more on the boat ride and crumbling old buildings, the next moment she’s falling back asleep. It ended up being okay, there was only one weird moment the next day (Adam was vaguely disturbed by a very creepily-staged jail cell with a corpse-like mannequin sleeping in bed): The weekend might have been a timely reminder I needed about remembering Adam is only four years old. He’s sophisticated for a four year old. Then I see him act like a total goofy goofball with his friends on the playground and I panic and realize how young he is.

Battery Spencer is on the opposite side of the bridge from San Francisco. It’s free to drive from the city over to the Marin Headlands. To cross back into San Francisco, it’s a $6 toll. Adam and I ended up not walking on the Golden Gate Bridge, I decided to save it for a few years from now when he and I can a ride a bike together across it. It’s such a touristy thing to do, but it’s remarkable to be out on the bridge and feel the exposure to the elements.

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