Posted by Bronwyn
I was at work last Friday waiting for my son to call. Usually he
calls me as soon as he gets home from school and lets himself in.
Sometimes he calls even sooner, before leaving school, if he wants
to go to someone's house to play (I am not allowed to use the term
'play date' anymore).
A few minutes after 3 my phone rang and my son's voice came on,
weirdly breathless. Although all he said was "Mom?" my
mom-spidey-sense was immediately tingling.
"Yes. Honey, what's wrong? Are you OK?" (the instant mom
response). "Yes, but, this is going to sound really dumb..."
"Nothing is dumb as long as you're OK. What's going on??"
(With a howl) "I'm STUCK in a SNOWBANK!"
Turns out on the walk home, W was amusing himself jumping into
the piled up snowbanks between the sidewalk and the streets. But a
few days of heavy snow, followed by a thaw, then freezing, had left
the snow with an outer crust, but less stability underneath.
Jumping into a particularly promising specimen W's feet broke
through the snow and he immediately sank in, trapping his legs and
"Can you wriggle your feet? Can you move your boots and sort of
"No, I tried that," came a voice of tired reproof (subtext: I am
not stupid, mom). "When I try to move my feet they're sort of
trapped. The snow is hard."
"Do you see anyone?"
Nothing makes you feel more helpless than knowing your child is
dealing with a situation and you are too far away to take care of
Telling W to sit tight (like he had a choice) I frantically went
through my phone list trying to think what moms were likely to be
home. Bingo! W's best friend's family had just gotten back from a
vacation in Hawaii! The mom was definitely due for some snow time.
Getting no answer, I left a message, then called W back. He was
"Don't worry," I told him." Someone will see you soon and come
and help you out."
"I just saw Mrs. H getting out of her car and I waved at her,
but she just waved back and went in her house."
"OK, I just tried to call her. I'm going to call them again
right now and she'll come out and help you."
This time I was able to get Mrs. H, who, when I asked if she had
seen W, said in a puzzled voice, "I just saw him playing in the
snow. He waved to me." When I explained what happened, she hung up
quickly and a few minutes later called me back to say that after
removing W's heavy backpack, she was able to grab both arms and
haul him out onto the sidewalk.
"He was actually right in front of the D's front window," she
said. "Eventually someone would have looked out the window and
noticed him standing in their yard!"
I thanked her and just as I hung up, W called again.
"You're out!" I said.
"Yes," he said, a little subdued. "I think I just want to go
home now, though."
"Good idea," I replied.
"Call me as soon as you get in and get your coat off. And, um...
don't play in any more snowbanks on the way home, OK?"
A relieved pause. "No mom. I don't think I want to do
that any more today!"
Another crisis averted, thanks to the neighborhood network of
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