"Live a good life, and in the end, it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years."

Here’s looking at you, kid

By on May 31, 2017 in Columnist with 0 Comments

By Molly Steere

Molly Steere is a local freelance writer who is always in search of ways to challenge her mind and body.After a particularly heavy snowfall, my son invited four of his friends over to go sledding after school.

As I worked at my computer I kept an eye on the window, making sure the boys were staying out of trouble. All was well until the front door opened and boys started filing into the house in various states of disarray: a bloody nose, inconsolable tears, shaking fury, frantic explanations, and one case of stony silence.

Individual interrogations, calls to parents, and numerous reenactments led to an overall consensus that a friendly snowball fight turned into a five-kid brawl. Unsurprisingly, there were five different versions of how it all went down.

After everyone went home, my husband and I sat down to review the footage from our security camera. As Toby scrolled back in time on the app on his phone, I idly wondered why parenting manuals never mention this sort of thing.

Our security camera is set up so that its view includes the front door and a good chunk of our yard.

A Christmas present for my husband, it boasts color video, audio, night vision and the capability to send video clips of activity when we’re not home. As we watched tiny little figures in the snow laughing and throwing snowballs across the screen, I realized that we’ve never actually used the camera for security purposes.

Mostly, the camera provides entertainment, or quells curiosity: there’s my son peeing off the porch, the dog trying to herd the cat into submission, or a transformer blowing in town in the middle of the night.

My son and I wave at it in the morning on our way to the bus stop and dance a little jig to make my husband laugh.

We check the camera remotely on our phones to see if the dog has returned home from her most recent adventure, and review footage to figure out why an unrecognized couple keeps showing up on our doorstep. Spoiler alert: I listened/watched live from the confines of my bedroom and learned that they would like to save my soul. They also wonder why our dog always appears to have rolled in poop.

“So, what’s the verdict?” Toby asks after we watch the snow brawl video several times.

“Inconclusive,” I sigh. In the video we could see the boys throwing snowballs, laughing and hollering, and then right at the critical moment, three of them disappear from view behind the deck posts. As they emerge, the brawl is already in progress.

It’s hard not to giggle watching the tiny figures in the snow, wearing 17 layers of snow gear like the little brother in A Christmas Story. We couldn’t discern who was who as they bobbled around, hitting and pushing and yelling until a silent cue signaled them to elbow their way to the front door, trying to be the first person into the house to tell me their version of the story.

“Maybe next time,” Toby says and I laugh, because despite my son’s protests to the contrary, there will always be a next time. And we’ll have the video to prove it.

Molly Steere is a local freelance writer who is always in search of ways to challenge her mind and body.

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