I believe Steve was in the sixth grade this particular summer. It had to be a weekend because his dad and I were home.
He broke away from his playing in the street with the neighborhood kids to ask me if he could go with a group of them to the home of a mutual friend. Their home had a swimming pool, diving board, lots of water paraphernalia, ping pong table, a trampoline, and other activities. They were charging admission.
I didn’t like the fact that he would have to cross the major highway to get there. Plus because they were charging admission, it didn’t sound like it was on the up-and-up. I was certain that it was against the law for a homeowner to charge admission. I just was not comfortable with the idea.
I refused to let him go. Needless to say, he was unhappy with me and left to return to his neighborhood friends on our street (or so I thought).
An hour or so later the phone rang, and my husband answered. I was in the kitchen but overheard him say, “I’ll be right there.” I didn’t give it another thought.
Shortly afterward, Ray came in the door carrying Steve in his arms. I knew he had disobeyed me and gone with the kids to that home after all. He was jumping on the trampoline and fell, seriously injuring his knee.
We took him to the hospital for X-rays, and they kept him there for several days. His knee was badly swollen, and they had to drain the fluid several times. I went to see him daily before and after work and took him goodies he wanted.
We were so grateful that the situation wasn’t worse; he was up and around and eventually fully recuperated. It was such a relief to have him back home in the family fold. However, many years later, when he was married with two sons, he had to have arthroscopic surgery on that knee.
I have teased him over the years about “See whatcha get when you don’t mind your mother.”
Sharon Benson Smith is a member of the writing class at Norwalk Senior Center.