Before I describe the fear of standing on a 20 foot ladder and climbing into my son's room through an unlocked window, let me set up the events that brought me to that fateful moment.

I had to take one of our car's in to a shop yesterday after the show. A friend of mine drove one car while two of my kids and I drove up in another.

Thirty minutes up, thirty minutes back. No problem.

Oh no, there was a problem alright.

See, my friend had earlier picked up the kids from school due to a minimum day and had left the spare key inside the house for me as we all left to take the car.

I then locked the front door as I always do and we all headed up to the mechanic.

I handed the keys to the cashier, took my invoice, got my friend and the boys in the car, and made the drive back to the house.

ZOINKS. That's when the fun began. No house key. Remember? The spare was INSIDE the now LOCKED house and MY key was on the key ring I handed the cashier at the mechanic's shop.

Stupid me!!

But wait!! I had left the windows open on the first floor the night before. Maybe I could find an open one and crawl in!!

NOPE. All locked.

I came around the front and found that my two boys and my friend had gotten into the tandem garage because the kids had left the manual door unlocked.


No, bingo. False alarm. You see, like a good, safe homeowner, we keep the door from the house to the garage...LOCKED.

So at least the garage fridge was open to us and I consoled the kids that at least we wouldn't starve to death. They didn't find that humorous. They had more life threatening things to worry about than starvation. There were video games to be won and skateboards to be ridden! And I was the one standing in their way.

The mechanic had agreed to leave the key under a rock for me, but I didn't want my son to miss his karate class within the half hour. If we drove back, he would miss it. Not the end of the world, to be sure. But I wasn't going to interfere with something he has taken a great interest in just because of my mistake.

My eyes rose to the second floor and our ticket inside--open windows. The easiest in terms of height would have required teetering on the roof a little too much for my taste. Not to mention squeezing my once svelte physique into a narrow window that a stuffed animal would have trouble passing through.

I would have to get the ladder up to the highest window. But it was nice and wide and only a flimsy screen and my unyielding fear of heights stood in my way.

I looked back at my boys and at my friend and I knew it was now or never. I had to be a man, even for just this one time. It was the right thing to do. The only thing to do, really. I had to climb. UP THERE!

So as scared out of my mind as I was, I slowly made the 20 foot climb and didn't look back. Or DOWN for that matter.

I yanked that screen off the window and lowered myself in as if our lives depended on it.

What is the moral of this story?

Well for one, always, always, always hide an extra house key somewhere around.

Secondly, I should have payed more attention to that story in the news of a burglar who learned how to break into houses from watching a show on the Discovery Channel.

More importantly, it's good to face your fears once in awhile. It doesn't mean I am going to throw myself from an airplane or stick my head in a lion's mouth at the circus, for goodness sakes.

But I now know that I can, in fact, climb a 20 foot ladder into my son's room no matter how much it scares me. I just don't think I am going to make a habit out of it.

Oh, and in case you were wondering. We made it to karate right on time.

All in a radio talk show host's day. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I am going to go back to the always fun job of prepping for my show. And hey, at least it's a lot safer than ladder climbing.