This wasn’t really an accident, however, it was potentially very dangerous, very stupid, and extremely reckless of me.
It was also fearless. I’d probably slap myself if I attempted such a stunt today, but hey bravery can be positive, even when it’s masterfully weaved within a web of stupidity.
My mom was seeing a man who lived in the penthouse back in the day. To a young child, it’s almost like your mom is dating the richest man in the world! I was fascinated with the fact that he had the entire floor to himself. So fascinated that I slipped outside unnoticed and crept to the edge of the top floor and climbed through the bars–this was easy because I was tiny and there was also a bar missing.
While I’m in la-la land, not thinking about falling seven floors to my untimely death, my cousin, who is nearly my age and not so bold as to think this event is funny, is trying to figure out what to do. Should she tattle? Should she stand there and make sure I don’t fall?
There’s really only one choice for her.
Panic, then tattle on me. So, as she ran to get her mom, I enjoyed the view. Why not? I’m already here. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.
I swear, the look on my aunt’s face said that if I didn’t die on this ledge she was going to murder me herself. And still, I clung to the bars, feet firmly planted, I straightened my arms so I could hang further off the edge.
Now, I can hear my mother saying, “Don’t yell at her. You’ll spook her. I’ll smack her butt when we get her down.”
Um, I’m not coming in if that’s the case. I’ll hang out here all night if I have to.
That’s what my seven-year-old brain is thinking.
I don’t even remember how long this went on. As you can imagine, it was a back and forth of “No, I’m not coming down. You’re gonna hit me,” and “Please come down. No one is angry.”
Yeah, right! I heard what you just said.
Sometimes parents think their kids don’t hear things, but yes, they do.
Obviously, it ended well. I didn’t go splat, got a beating, and was grounded. Now, I actually fear things maybe I should. Win? Meh, it was fun while it lasted. Having climbed a mountain three times since, I have learned a few rules about safety along the way.
Note to self: don’t date a man who lives in a penthouse unless my child is afraid of his or her shadow.
A Clumsy Writer
**Dedicated to Emma, who was beyond brave in her battle with Lymphoma, to my cousin Nikki who remains a fearless shark in her battle with cancer, and to all those people who are battling a disease. Don’t ever stop fighting!