Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow on the roof; fire in the belly

There's a reason I buy Jeff Cap'n Crunch breakfast cereal: no matter what the calendar says, he's still a 12-year-old boy.

Take today, for example. He heads off to basketball, I dawdle in bed a bit (Ali was at a sleepover) then head to the grocery and the gym. The gym doesn't open until 11 or I'd have gone there first. I left a note for him to call me when he got home, thinking two things: 1. I want to be sure someone's here to receive the girl when she returns and 2. I want to be sure he's not going to do anything dumb.

Like climb upon on the roof when no one is home to call 911 when he falls. The whole state of Indiana is covered in ice, so there was no safe place to put his fancy new birthday ladder. But he's been itching to use it and he's been eyeing the 4-6 inches of snow that landed on top of the ice layer yesterday, wondering if our roof can take the abuse.

Sure enough, I call him back to learn he's on the roof. Yeah. He's home alone. And he's talking ON THE PHONE from the ice-covered roof.

I sigh. I step on the gas. I get home to find Alison has returned only to go next door to help the little girl there scrape a circle in the snow. They're not practicing witchcraft; they've uncovered an ice rink and are skating happily around.

I go back home after answering the, "Come over here, Mom, you gotta see!" call. I'm three steps down the walkway to the porch when I hear overhead, "Oh shit!"

And down comes Jeff. Luckily, he'd used his three seconds of realization that he was in a free fall to land, cat-like in the huge pile of snow that we've been adding to over these last few frozen weeks. Lucky for him it wasn't one of the one with ice blocks from the driveway.

I look at him. He looks at me. And grins.

I think he wanted to do it again! I waited just enough time to learn whether he'd shattered anything before I turned around and got my own shovel. While I considered piling up a perimeter of snow cushions around the house, I decided he'd probably learned his lesson. I just cleared the piles he'd been pushing from the roof.

While up on the roof, Jeff was still wearing the body armor he's taken lately to wearing at basketball. It helps shield his back and other tender parts from the young guns he plays with. I think he'd taken off his knee brace, which is high tech but squeaks when he moves.

Because he doesn't play with his hearing aids in, he's not fully aware of just how squeaky he is when he has that brace on. He has an inkling, though, because they've taken to calling him "Tin Man" on the court.

I think they should come over and watch his roof dismount. I wonder what they'd call him then....

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