Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Art of Sneaking Out

Sometimes even the most carefully planned hi jinx go wrong at the hands of a suspicious, light-sleeping mother.

It was the summer before my freshman year of high school and a buddy and I had spent all morning during summer school gym conniving. The plan was to sneak out of our respective houses and go toilet papering. It was my first time sneaking out and I knew my mom was a light sleeper so I made several contingency plans. First, when I left my bedroom I locked it behind me so that if she woke up she couldn't come in and see if I was asleep. Genius. The only problem was that in order to do this I had to lock the door first, then close it. I did not know doing this would disable the ability to close the door quietly. A quick but loud pop came from the door, then silence. My parents were still asleep. Time to keep going.

My second contingency was that I had packed a bag of clothes and stashed it in the backyard. This way if I got caught outside of my room I would just be in my boxers, clearly going to the bathroom or getting a drink of water. 14 year-old me was so smart.

I went into my garage and out the back door, quickly finding my stashed clothes and putting them on. My friend was waiting for me on the street. That's when we heard it. A loud tapping. More like a knocking. Coming from my parent's bedroom window. They had heard my door closing and were awake! They had not seen me because I was still on the side of the house but my friend had been compromised.

He ran over to me and we quickly decided to abort the mission. He took off as I restashed my clothes and got into the garage, hearing my mom approaching from inside. I needed to quickly think of some reason to be in the garage. The only thing that occurred to me was to grab a soda and say I came out to get one.

When my mom opened the door, this is what she saw: Her 14 year-old son in his underwear, holding a can of soda with the door to the backyard cracked open. I can only imagine what she thought was going on. My memory of what was said is a little foggy, but I believe the conversation went something like this.

Mom: What are you doing?

Me: Getting a soda.

Mom: Why is the back door open?

Me: I don't know.

(Long pause. I figured my best defense was to play stupid. My mom, probably figuring I was stupid for other reasons considers how to play this one)

Mom: It's late. I think you should go to bed.

I could say that I fooled my mom that night, but in my heart of hearts I'm pretty sure my mom just decided to have mercy on me. She probably knew that I was making a pathetic attempt to sneak out, figured I wasn't going to go do anything horrible anyway, and let me off the hook. She probably knew that I am such a rule-follower by nature that simply getting caught was punishment enough. Out of all the possible choices, on this night, she chose to have mercy.

To my wonderful, selfless, hardworking, strong mother. You have always desired the best for your kids and that's why you're the best. Love you!

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