Cameron as a very young child had the habit of slipping the lock on the screen door of the front porch and skipping down the sidewalk in the nude or maybe in his diaper depending on his mood. One Saturday morning while my wife was at yoga, and I was shaving, my older son Austin comes running up the steps and said: "Dad, Cameron got out again." Putting the razor down and wiping most of the foam off my face I bolt down the stairs. I know it's only a matter of moments before he can disappear into a neighbor’s yard or be in the street. I also know that if I get to him quickly, I might avoid a lecture later about responsibility
As I am headed towards the front door I yell up at Austin what direction did Cameron go. "Towards Joshes house" he shouts back. Josh is Cameron's friend who lives down the block. I had no time to put on my sneakers or a tee shirt. This is my little boy who could get flattened by a car PDQ. Modesty can wait. So there I am heading out into the neighborhood in my boxers and as soon as I hit our lawn I start calling Cameron's name.
Fortunately, I see my little boy in his diaper and bare feet a few houses down heading towards his friend’s house. I call out to him. He stops momentarily, turns and looks at me, turns back and with a little laugh takes off running again. I yell "Stop right there Mr." as I stub my toe on the very quaint slate sidewalks which are a feature of our town. I hit my toe so hard and I am in agony. Swearing quite loudly draws the attention of a pair of very neatly dressed black woman who I surmise by the publications in their hands are Jehovah's witnesses and who seemed to appear out of nowhere. They are across the street directly equidistant between Cameron and me. By the look on their faces, apparently, they had never seen a white man in his underwear hopping on one-foot swearing on the sidewalk in the morning sun.
Cameron having heard me swear turns back to look at me and sees the Jehovah's Witnesses across the street.
In this modern day, one of the things that my wife and I had told our children was they should never go with a stranger anywhere. In fact, if a stranger try to take them, they should yell at the top of their lungs "This is not my mommy/daddy" to whoever they can get to listen. And to just keep yelling and screaming until someone helps them.
As Cameron turns back around towards the Jehovah's witnesses somewhere in his little mind he has made the decision to go for the nuclear option. Again Cameron takes off running only this time he is screaming with his high pitched little kid voice "HE IS NOT MY DADDY, HE IS NOT MY DADDY!" Of course, the Jehovah's Witnesses heads swing from Cameron to me which I notice as I am now running/limping even faster in my boxer shorts after the kid in his diaper. Both at once furious and kind of weirdly proud of the sheer brilliance of my son's devious move I am yelling "YES I AM, YES I AM!"
Just a few more steps and I am finally on the little shit. I grab my kid around the waist all the while he is flailing around and....laughing. Laughing and at this point, I have to admit I think it's pretty damn funny too. I look over at the JWs and they have not moved from the spot they were standing in when I first saw them. I call out "He's mine" and I throw in a "God bless you" for good measure. And my son in his diaper under my arm and I in my boxer shorts walk up the avenue back to our house hopefully before his mother gets home.
When we get back to the house I make sure the screen door is double locked. Austin is standing there asking what happened and Cameron walks into the kitchen sits on the floor and starts playing with Legos. "Come on I'll tell you." I say "But it's going to be our little secret from mommy OK?" Austin nods excitedly in the affirmative. "Oh yeah one other thing, see those nice ladies coming up the street, well we are going to pretend we're not home if they ring the bell OK?"
About fifteen minutes later my wife arrived home. The boys had gone upstairs. She asked me why I was still in my underwear and I told her the truth. I told her I got distracted.
As we are standing in the kitchen talking about our day, the doorbell rings. "Who can that be?" says the wife. "Maybe it's Jehovah's Witnesses," I say. and she goes and answers the door. I make for the kitchen door when I hear several voices and then I hear my wife's stage voice "Honey (she never calls me honey) there are two police officers and two women here who would like a word with you. And I would be interested in what you have to say also."