Saturday, September 5, 2009

On Being 12

Sometimes, when you are 12, those long, hot summer days seem to stretch on interminably. You and your friend have played basketball, soccer and swum in the neighbor's pool for countless hours. You watched a little TV, but there was nothing good on, so the two of you decide to just sit around out in the yard.


As with little kids, it's those overly quiet moments that a mother needs to worry about...


Out of sheer boredom, my son decided it would be a good idea to stick his foot down into the little hole we had drilled in the yard to search for drinking water in the underlying ground water. As you can see, it's really a little hole. Compare the size of the kid's shoe with the size of the hole and maybe you know what's coming next in this story...

F., my son's friend came running into the house, "Sara, Sara, Danny's foot is stuck in the waterhole!" Yes, he got his foot into the hole, up to his knee, but then could not get it back out.

We spent the next half hour and more trying every possible technique I could think of to get his foot out. We tried to pull him straight up and out, but he said it hurt. I lay face down in the dirt and stuck my whole arm into the hole to try to pull his shoe off, but it was on too tight. I tried to untie his shoe so he could slip his foot out, but, besides the fact that he had made double knots in his laces, there was just not enough room for me to move my hand around.

The next stage involved tools...
I thought maybe I could cut the shoelaces, but there was just not enough room to manouver down in that hole and I was afraid I might cut my son. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to widen the sides of the hole, but as anyone who knows Apulia can tell you, we have a very rocky terrain here. I was able to move a tiny bit of dirt and a few little pebbles, but not much more.

In the end, the combination of my digging and the help of Danny's friend, F., who is a very big and strong 12-year-old, did the trick. We tried our original "pulling him straight up and out while he pushed with his other leg" technique....and succeeded!

Never a dull moment around here, I'm telling you...