As the youngest of six, I probably got away with a lot more than my older siblings. But there was one thing that I did that never failed to call down the wrath of Dad…
Scream, shriek, squawk, yowl… whatever you like to call it. The high pitched emissions of a young, female child.
My older brother throws a booger on me. I scream in horror and disgust. I get yelled at. When I take said booger to my father for inspection… a smirk escapes the corners of his mouth, and the original verdict stands.
Are you serious? This is a booger!! From his NOSE! A booger!
Walking outside in the yard, middle of the summer, somehow defying the odds of science and all forces of the universe, a small garter snake ends up inside my sandal. I shriek at the top of my lungs, flinging my shoe and snake against the wall of the house.
Who gets in trouble? Well, it wasn’t the snake, let me tell you that!
I’m not going to say that I was a perfect child, because I wasn’t, and I’m sure even less so than I remember. I just know that my biggest offense was often the sound I would utter rather than the actions I would take.
For example, I didn’t get in trouble when I stabbed my brother in the forearm during dishes one night. I don’t remember what my brother did, but he made me really angry, and I stabbed him. With a fork. I immediately felt bad, probably mostly because I was scared shitless at what I had just done as the fork was sticking out of his arm. I cried, my remorse and fear at the punishment I felt would surely be coming.
But it didn’t.
Or, when I punched my brother right in the eye, and then immediately ran to my mother to confess my sin. Again… probably mostly out of fear of my brother’s retribution and for the sanctuary of my mom.
Or, when I punched my hand through the garage door glass. I hit the window because I was angry. I was angry because my brother locked me in there. I immediately went and confessed what I did, and the reason why, and again, no punishment.
Now I never questioned the lack of discipline when I was in the wrong, but when I felt wronged by
the gods my brother, I surely did not understand…
Until I became a mother.
I have two squealers of my own. Sometimes it is the most insufferable and irritating noise in the world. Enough to scramble your brain and boil your blood. It’s amazing, really, the high levels of irritation it can emit from you.
No parent is perfect. No parent is going to do it right all the time, or referee every round to appease the crowd. But one thing is for sure, no matter how much I may have felt wronged in the past, I have a deeper appreciation and understanding for the laws of my Dad from when I was a kid.
Forgive me Father….