I was that kid that every parent secretly hopes they don’t end up with, not to say my parents were disappointed when they realized that they had ended up with that kid, but they were a little perplexed. I like to think I wasn’t a bad kid, I did well in school, was fairly obedient, respectful towards adults, sang in church, I was, as I often remind my parents, a great kid. I was(some people say I still am) a mischievous spritling who’s only joy in life was instigating others. I can remember multitudes of instances that left my parents shaking their heads, wondering what on Earth they would do with me, but I’ll just write about a few of my favorites.
The first instance occurred with my younger brother, who was just as annoying then as he is now. My parents had left the two of us home alone, with the instructions that I was in charge and don’t destroy the house. I was reading, he was watching TV when he suddenly decided that Tv was boring and he’d rather pester me instead. I asked him several times to stop and leave me alone, but still he persisted, until finally, I had had enough. Jumping up from my seat, causing it to fall over, I reached out and grabbed him by his hair(he has ultra curly hair, I went for the little bit on the back of the neck that no person ever wants to be grabbed) and led him to my old bedroom. In the bedroom that used to be mine are bunk beds, and in the closet were some of my scarves I would wear with different outfits, along with a couple of belts. I grabbed the longest scarf I had and tied his hands to his feet, then I took a long sheet and tied that around his hands feet, threw it between the top side boards of the highest bunk bed, and started pulling. In a matter of minutes I had hanging 3-4 feet off the ground and stuck there. He started yelling loudly, in the hopes that our parents would walk through the door and hear, so I stuffed a sock in his mouth, shut the door, and went back to reading. I don’t remember how long he was like that, but I do remember it was very peaceful afterwards….until my parents came home. Needless to say they were both speechless when they came into the bedroom and saw him hanging like that, I received quite the lecture as I untied and set him free.
The second time I remember was on a Sunday morning, it was a beautiful summer day. The church I went to at the time had woods and a swamp near by, so it wasn’t unusual to see frogs, toads, snakes and turtles in the parking lot or on the side-walk. I happened to stumble on a very fat toad who I felt was in desperate need of getting to know the Lord who made him. While nobody was looking I grabbed the toad(who peed all over me) and stuffed it into the front pocket of the Scooby-Doo overalls I was wearing(don’t laugh, I looked adorable with my lime green shirt, Scooby-Doo overalls, pigtails, skinned knees and tennis shoes) and entered the Lord’s house. All went reasonably well with the toad, and then it was time for Communion. My toad, I felt, was looking a little oxygen deprived, and to remedy that, I decided to open my pocket and allow for him to stick his head out. We made it up to the front of the church, through Communion, without incident. It wasn’t until we were walking down the center aisle, back to our seats in very back(we walked past a lot of people) that my toad decided to jump out of my pocket. “Get back here you HEATHEN” were the words I all but yelled as I dove for the run-away toad. There were several chuckles, a few gasps, and my parents harsh whispers of, “Get the toad and get to your seat NOW”. I did catch the toad, who I took into the bathroom to Baptise, before releasing it back to the great outdoors. I saw nothing wrong with the whole ordeal and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my parents look so horrified.
The final one I’ll list happened at a family reunion. I had gone up to my Grandparents house a couple days before my parents would get there and on the day of the gathering, my Uncle showed up early. My Grandparents live up in Alma, Michigan, in a cabin-on a hill in the woods. My family and I live in Lansing, 100 miles away, just for a little bit of a backstory. My Grandparents had come down to Lansing a couple days before the reunion and picked up my sister and myself because they wanted to spend time with us before all the family showed up. Down the hill from my Grandparents lived their old neighbor, Silvia. Silvia wanted to meet my sister and I so my Grandma took us over there to see her, during our visit was when my Uncle showed up-he had just been talking to my Parents on the phone and they had asked him to make sure I wasn’t causing any trouble-except he couldn’t find me. I had stayed with Silvia while my Grandma and sister went back up to the house to get things ready-Silvia and I would join them later. Unbeknownst to either one of us, my Uncle was outside, in the rain, yelling all throughout the woods for me, thinking I had either gone for a walk and gotten lost, or been kidnapped. Silvia finally noticed my Uncle walking around, yelling, and was able to make out my name, turning to me she asked, “Sweety, do you know that man out there?” I looked out the window and saw my Uncle with a crazed look in his eye, screaming out my name(keep in mind that the entire time neither my sister, Grandpa or Grandma told him where I was), and looked at Silvia with all serious and answered, “No, he looks crazy, can I hide here until he leaves or until we go up to the house?” She agreed I could hide there, and when he came to the door to ask her if she’d seen me, she told him no, she had no idea who or where I was. Silvia and I came up to my Grandparents house around 15 minutes later, and you can imagine the surprise on his face when he saw us together. “Where have you been, I’ve been looking and yelling all over for you!” he nearly shouted at me. I shrugged and pointed to Silvia, “I was with her the whole time”, I answered solemnly. He glared, “Didn’t your parents teach you not to go with strangers or to at least let people know where you are??” “Grandma knew, she’s the one who took me over there. And my sister knew and Grandpa did too. Didn’t YOUR parents teach you to ask questions when you don’t know where someone is? You looked rather ridiculous yelling through the woods like a crazed maniac.” It was then that he lunged at me with his hands out, I ducked and took off out the door and into the woods. My Uncle chased after me, yelling all sorts of threats as he made chase. By then family had started showing up and were all stopping to watch the situation unfold. Here ran an eleven year old girl as a large man, yelling threats, ran after her, jumping over fallen trees and ducking under low branches. At the end of my Grandparents driveway is a drop-off in the woods. It’s around a six foot drop out into the dirt road-this is the drop-off that I jumped off-just as my Aunt and Uncle and Cousins from Holt were pulling in. I landed in front of there van on my knees, and they slammed onto my breaks. I jumped up, slapped the hood of their van so that they would know I was OK and kept running. Needless to say, my parents were very perplexed when I made a re-appearance and my Uncle and my family from Holt all started yelling out threats upon seeing me. That was the most exciting family reunion yet.
I was that kid, the one who was always causing trouble for herself and everyone around her, the one who’d get bored and decide to take things apart and reassemble them “just because”. The one who would gather a group of friends and organize a massive prank and never get caught for it because I never actually did anything-I just came up with idea and assigned positions and gave orders. Some days I still am that kid and I just know it warms my parents hearts. 😉