Back when I was a teenager, as I had just fallen out of a canoe, without my life jacket, and into a set of rapids on the Delaware River, I remember having this realization: my Dad was so right. I should have had that life jacket on, just like I should have never ridden in the back of a pick-up truck or driven anywhere in the winter without a blanket in the car.
My Dad’s words of safety wisdom were reincarnated in my own parenting this week, when I found myself admiring a five foot deep snow cave that my son and his friend dug while I was inside wrapping Christmas presents. I should know by now that when my son says, “Mom, come out and see this!” that the children have somehow, yet again, escaped certain death.
Despite nightmarish visions of my son, trapped by a cave-in, gasping for the diminishing breathable air, I found myself looking at the snow cave and saying this: “Great job, guys! Quite an architectural achievement! How about I go get the camera and then you guys can go in (feet first!), and we’ll take your picture in the snow cave before it collapses on you and kills you?”
I tried to keep it light, really I did, patting them on the back for a good job and telling them that I was just worried because the temperature would be rising over the next couple of days. Craig, wise man that he is, had the good idea of paying them two bucks to fill in the cave—which they did, happily.
I was a little surprised the next day, though, when Jake told us that he and his friends had dug snow cave number two at a house around the corner. “It’s OK,” he said. “My friend’s parents were right there.”
“Right there to dig you out in the event of collapse?” Craig said.
Jake said, “Yup.”
So nice that the lesson wasn’t lost on him, isn’t it?