Learning the Hard Way

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Growing up around the Smoes house was always an adventure within itself and was experienced by numerous individuals throughout the years. With living here unlike most other people though, I was the one who knew what fun things there were to do, whether it was okayed by my mom or not during the really young years of our lives. Most of the time when we were doing the things clearly not accepted by my mom, we found out the hard way why moms are usually always right.

One thing we had always gotten caught doing was climbing onto the roof of the shed that is right next to my garage, not visible from anywhere in the house. The shed is shaped like a mini barn so the roof slopes down pretty low and there is a short hill on the side opposite of the garage. Up until this certain day, no one had ever been hurt climbing onto the roof unless my mom yelling at us hurt their ears. On this day there were four of us boys. Brad, who lived next door and was the most athletic of us by far, Chris, who was a little younger then me and came over from a couple neighborhoods over and, Nolan, who had moved in down the street when he was younger.

It all started on the kind of hot summer day when the sun seems to be trying to melt you. It was mid afternoon and we were all hiding in the shade under the only tree in the front yard when Brad said “We should see who could touch the very top of the shed and come back to the shade the fastest.”

“You know you’re going to win Brad, so what is the point of going?” I responded almost in a frustrated tone. Everyone knew Brad won at everything because for some reason he was just better at any sport or race we had ever done.

Brad responded with, “If I give you a little bit of a head start will you do it?”

“I guess, but you know deep down that you are still going to kick our butts because you hate losing. If I’m going against him will you guys have a go too?” I asked Chris and Nolan who was lying down in the long grass just listening to me and Brad. They both responded yes with just a nod.

With the agreement of the head start all of us except Brad took off for the top. With Brad’s need to always win though he took off before his agreed time. Before we all knew it we were almost to the top. We all took our own ways with me climbing the fence next to it, and everyone else stacking whatever they could find to just get high enough to reach the ledge. Once I reached the roof I climbed up on all fours until my hands felt like they were on fire. I found that a black shingle roof absorbs quiet a bit of heat in a hot, clear, sunny day. I was the first person to the peak of the shed and as soon as I turned around there was Brad coming up right in front of me. Before I knew it, I was watching as Brad pushed me so I would fall behind and turned around to head back on down to where we had first started. He had pushed off me hard enough to start my decent backwards as I fell down the roof. Now if I had fallen on the side we came up it wouldn’t have been much of a big deal but the other side of the shed was an extra four feet higher from the hill. Last thing I remember was falling and looking up at the edge of the roof.

I woke up to Brad above me and shaking me violently. “Jon, wake up before your mom comes out. I don’t need to get in trouble again,” Brad said in a worried voice. As soon as I decided that I wasn’t dead I got up and heard the door slam. I don’t know if it was bad luck or if moms just have a feeling when kids are getting in trouble but she came outside to check on us. But, since we had gone through this so many times before it was easy to play it off and act like nothing had happened. Deep down she probably knew that something was wrong but since she needed to go inside she just said, “What ever it was that you boys were doing, you need to cut it out.” That’s about the time I realized why moms tend to be so strict and now will listen to her more. Since I have grown up though, I have realized it is probably a good idea to listen to your mom.





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