The next night I learned from a neighbor that Cameron once showed up on her doorstep with the boa constrictor wrapped around his arm.
The following day I sat Jack down for a serious talk.
"Jack, you know that your friend Cameron is always welcome in our home, right? But you have to know that your friend Cameron with a boa constrictor wrapped around his arm is not welcome in our home."
This statement of mine didn't really come as any surprise as Jack. Roger and I have had a long-term understanding that snakes are not welcome in our home. (I choose to ignore their addendum "that you know of." I know they love me and will always respect my wishes on this point. Right?!)
Anyway, as soon as I laid down the law I saw Jack's wheels turning. I saw that gleam in his eyes. I smelled a rat.
"I'm coming up with lots of loopholes, Mom."
"What if the snake is wrapped around my arm? What if Cameron is carrying the snake on a board? What if . . ."
"What if we talk about the spirit of the law?" After all, a boy who is smart enough to know about loopholes is smart enough to wrap his brain around that concept. Right?!