She led the way up the ladder. The roof isn't exactly easy to get to, or even safe, for that matter. In order to get up there you have to climb up a poorly welded ladder. Most people take one look at the rust, and ask, "Are you sure it's safe." But not mom. "Don't worry, Honey, I'm a monkey!"
We sat there, on the roof, and she told about when she was younger she used to climb up into water towers, late at night. She and her friends would dangle their feet off the top, high above the ground. This is the side of her that I love imagining: adventurous and daring. I never really got to see that side of her because she always had to be responsible and set a good example for my sisters and me. But I love thinking about what she was like before she had children. We always joke that we would have been best friends back then, but in retrospect, we pretty much are now. I guess I just wish that I could have been alive during the funnest part of her life.
Before we went back down, she took a moment to look out at the city; her hair and dress lightly blowing around in the wind. It was a beautiful day.
They came to visit me in San Francisco. My kitchen light had been acting as an odious strobe light for a month or two. As unsettling as it may have been, I am very low maintenance and would just avoid turning on the light, all together, instead of taking the time to change it. But that's one of the good things about Dads, they like to fix things for their kids.
That ladder was incredibly rickety, and for a minute I did worry for his safety. But then I thought back on his strengthening exercises he used to do at night (he would stand on one foot and closes his eyes for extended amounts of time -- try it, it's hard.) and I realized he probably has better balance than I do, even if he is in his mid-sixties. Mom cautiously stood beside him, looking less worried than I'd expect, holding down his left calf until he successfully fixed the light.