First, nobody gets hurt in this story.
Remember Baby Jessica the kid who fell down the well? I remember thinking how does that sort of thing happen? Your kid – who’s like four- is out in the back yard alone and is unsupervised long enough to fall down a friggin well. Really? I have come to realize “Really”.
Picture this – I am in the dining room working on the computer and T is in the den with the dogs’ – Walt and Coco – watching the Silver Surfer. That puts he and I about twenty feet from each other with a door closed in between. Ward is at the store. I feel confident it is a safe situation because the chances of Thorin walking away from the Silver Surfer to get in trouble are about as likely as me turning off Project Runway or anything with Timothy Olyphant (IMDB him) in it.
Maybe ten minutes go by or was it more? I happened to look up from the computer and see out the window a little boy with a cowboy hat on standing next to a German ShepWTF that’sTandWalt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This fact that ‘I happened to’ almost makes me vomit later as do all the other “what ifs”- they crossed the street and got hit by a car, someone creepy found them, etc., etc., etc) I scream and instead of running out the front door putting me about 50 feet from where I saw them I ran out the back – like I had to check the den to make sure it wasn’t their doppelgangers outside – and added about 200 feet between me and them. And, “Them” were on a corner intersection.
Screaming and running, I caught up to them walking down the block side by side. I grabbed Walt by the collar and pulled T to me. T cried to continue their walk and Walt looked at me like “Hey, I’m here with him where were you?” As I was walking-arguing them back home Ward pulled up in the car and asked why I was “Walking Walt without a leash?”
I wanted to say, “I couldn’t find the leash?” or “Walt got out so T had to go with me to find him?” If I was a complete jerk I could have gotten away with it – Thorin’s articulation and verbal acuity is such that he literally couldn’t say anything different had happened. And, Walt has never been what you would call a “talker”. Instead I told the truth.
“Kari (shock and deep disappointment there) how exactly did that happen?”
After much deconstructing on Ward and my part we discovered Ward had left the back door unlock and unbeknownst to us T’s physical strength was such that he now could open the door. And, I was not paying attention. New rules: outside doors are locked and Thorin really can’t be left alone for ten minutes or maybe longer. At least right now.
New insight. Walt-the-dog has a boy and he takes his responsibility seriously. He sleeps in T’s room at night. He stayed with him on their little journey around the corner. More than that T was safe because Walt was with him. He had his back.
P.S. – After my hands stopped shaking I called my mother and apologized for every scary thing I ever did as a kid.
I think after reading this post, I will need to call my mom and apologize too.
I’ve had many moments like that with my son who was a master escapist. he managed to walk out of the oncology ward without any member of staff noticing when he was 8, and slipped out of the hospital triggering a major alert. he walked out of school once with a drawing in his hand, making the most of the confusion that happens when school finishes and the buses are waiting to take the kids home, and taking advantage of the sunny weather (the doors had special locks with codes, but because it was hot – doesn’t happen often in the uk – they’d been left opened) . He crossed many streets, got hit by a car (the driver was traumatised for weeks – sharif was unharmed, but the police were called and that’s how the head teacher found him) When asked he said he was going to the Police Station to ask for a job (hence the drawing). but the one I remember most fondly is the time when he walked out of the house and when after looking for a while I decided to call the police asking if they had come across a teenager with Down’s syndrome called Sharif, the officer at the end of the phone replied : “no, we don’t have a Sharif, but we have a James Bond” There was always a triomphant look in his eyes, like he had enjoyed being out on his own, like his heroes (Jess in Free Willy triggered the greatest longings and the beginning of these “adventures”) and could not understand the fuss. And now he’s mastered the greatest escapes of all and has become a sky walker. And I still have nightmares about him missing and me looking for him and when I wake up, the reality is worse than the nightmare.
I think this is the most sweet, funny, tragic comment I have ever received. Thank you.
What a great kid your adventurer was. I hope you write because you do beautifully. kwp
Thanks. I don’t, but maybe I will, funny you should say that i’ve just started a creative writing course. i love YOUR writing style. Now please, watch Silver Surfer again. with T.’s eyes. Ask yourself, is there something in there that he wanted to copy or emulate. Or something that his accomplice wanted to do. Because it is one thing for a little child to move away quietly (and let’s face it, when children are quiet, we ought to be suspicious) but when a child and a dog leave a room on tiptoes, that’s remarkable!
Ok, you just did it again. WRITE. You were meant too. Here’s the thing there aren’t enough of us out there writing about this and other things in a funny, real, sad but not self=pitting way. Or Rhetoric. I hate that crap. we need you.
feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and WRITE.