Big storm coming tonight, Amy and I decided to do some last-minute gutter repair in the sunset before the storm. I’m up on the roof testing a new endcap with a garden hose, Amy on the ground watching the effluvium. She ducks in the house to check on Miles, he’s busy working on a puzzle. She comes back out, we wrap up in three minutes. Toss the hose down, and I walk back over the roof, returning to the rear of the house where I had propped up the ladder.

As I crest the peak of the roof, what do I see illuminated in the purple and orange light of a stormy sunset… but 2-year-old Miles standing on the next-to-top rung of the ladder, high above the roofline, 10-12 feet above the ground. Just standing confidently on that almost-top rung, smiling at me.

My heart froze. Walked up to him slowly, plucked him from the ladder, and sat down on the roof, squeezing him to my chest.

It was the most terrifying moment we’ve had with Miles so far. How long had he been up there? How did he get out of the house? How did it happen so quickly? Since when can he open the sliding doors by himself? The possible outcomes seemed horrific.

He’s always been physical and fearless, but we were totally broadsided by this one. It’s hard to describe what it felt like to see him up there – beautiful and brave and illuminated so gorgeously, but everything about it at the same time so totally wrong.

Update: Turns out he didn’t open the sliding glass door after all, but slipped through the cat door – the same cat door in which he got stuck when he was just a babe.

Music: The Fiery Furnaces :: Turning Round

7 Replies to “Palpitations”

  1. We are averaging one trip to the emergency room per year. It is amazing the things kids get up to — just stops your heard from beating sometimes. And they grow up so fast — I remember the video of Miles going through the cat door.

  2. One kid. Like yours, physical, and fearless, but also occasionally brainless and unlucky.

    Zero, decides to leave the womb at 29 weeks. 2 1/2 months in hospital.
    At 1, febrile convulsions.
    At 2, running around without diaper, pees on floor, runs back through, slips on pee – concussion.
    At 3, gets croup on our last Hawaii vacation before the bust.
    At 4, spinning in kitchen, falls on chin — 6 stitches.
    I forget what five was.
    At 6, successfully rode bikes as part of a playdate for the first time, then was running around Windrush campus and didn’t see decorative chain — tripped over it and put two front teeth through his lower lip — stitches.
    This summer, slipped on diving board and fell, breaking top two permanent teeth in half.

    I well know that thud of as half a gallon of adrenaline hits your heart at once. Luckily, none of his accidents have been serious. I hope you have as good luck as we have had in that respect.

  3. Holy moly, Tim – you’ve been off to quite a start with him! I’ll bet you develop quite the constitution after a while… and so does he :)

    Hope the bad luck has run dry by now!

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