As some of you might remember, last August Vincent fell out of a window. Although his fascination with windows continues unabated, and he climbs into them and shakes the window guards and I lose my cool when he does so at least once a week, so far that’s the worst that has happened.
Which is not to say that nothing else has happened. I’ve had to call poison control twice (once for eating a bunch of vitamins & the other for eating toothpaste — he was completely fine in both cases — I, however, was a wreck. And don’t even talk to me about child-proof latches.), he tore through the back screen door and went outside alone (luckily, he was only in the back yard — he wanted to watch the guys working on the squirrel problem), and previous to that, the latch on the back screen door was left undone (I’m not pointing fingers), and he went outside alone. It was this time that aged me ten years at least.
I didn’t intially realize he was gone because I had latched the door earlier. I was on the phone taking recipe-dictation, and my husband was carrying the baby around. When I saw the latch was off and Vincent was gone, I flew down the stairs in my bare feet, yelling for him, and then down the street. But when I didn’t see him at all I had to run back to the apartment to put shoes on and vent my hysteria at/on/in the vicinity of Lance, and run into town.
I did a lot of running (gawd am I out of shape). Eventually Lance caught up to me in the car, with Aidan. I was at the playground , and it was then, when I hadn’t found him there, the last place I looked because I was sure he was there and it was the safest of all the places he could’ve gone, right across from my friend Lea’s house, that I began to worry in earnest.
So it was the perfect time for Lance to drive up. And Vincent was in the car, too. The story: Vincent had gone in the car to get his new big umbrella, and then hadn’t been able to get out again. I ran by that car four times. Vincent saw me run by four times, and called to me, but I didn’t hear. I don’t think I could hear anything over the panicky racket of my own heartbeat.
There is no moral to the story here. After this I became even more neurotic about the latch, and then he went through the door. So I moved the latch to the door to the back room so he couldn’t get near the back door at all, and the screws popped out when he used his body as a battering ram.
Lance used to spend his time concocting ways to defeat the squirrels. I wish my challenge was that easy. Two words: crafty & lucky. Because, even still, he’s here, right now, telling me that I need to go in the hallway and get him his heavy boots.
The young protagonist of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, spoke of his feelings of sadness as “putting his heavy boots on” (not an exact quote, but I think that’s right); I’m thankful that the heavy boots in our life are literal ones. Because there have been countless opportunities for it to have been otherwise.