My Grandfather always said: If you want to know the truth about an old horse ask the kid. And he would be right, from washing machines for sale to the neighbors dog the kids will say the real truth.
The first story came to me from a friend a little over a month ago. It’s too cute not to share. I’m giving it a title of: “Sunday School Lesson”
Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.
One said to the other, ‘What do you think about all this Satan stuff?’
The other boy replied, ‘Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It’s probably just your Dad.’
The second is from an experience I had as a child and is titled: Mama’s Washing Machine
Oh, it did rock and roll across the back porch every Monday morning, churning out squeaks and pounding out loud hammering sounds. I remember the last Monday it was used as clearly as if it were yesterday because it was I who warned Mama the machine was scooting towards the steps.
With the speed of a sprinter Mama pulled the cord out from the plug. The next day she brought home a new used one. The following day she cleaned and polished the old used one and pushed it to the side yard with a large ‘4 Sale’ sign on it. She only wanted $5.00 for it and she nearly got it too, but just as the woman was reaching into her purse she winked at me and said something about the good deal she’d made. I don’t know why I said: “it’s only worth five because it bangs like a hammer” but I did say it; with that the woman closed her purse and left Mama standing there about ready to kill her favorite and only little girl.
Always, ask the kid.
The next story is about my youngest when she was three and is titled: Mama’s Hands
By the time I had my last child I was in my forties. I know, it was silly of me, but this story isn’t about that. It’s about my Mama again. Or more precisely it is about her hands. You see Mama always had the most beautiful hands. Of course, as she aged so did her hands. Mine has always been old, even as a child.
At age three my youngest noticed her grandmother’s hands were blue with veins and quite shriveled and said something about it. Well, that didn’t go over very well with Granny-rie (Mama’s name was Marie but her eldest granddaughter could not say Marie well so that’s where the rie came from and it stuck) and she began to tear up. Feeling badly for her I immediately showed my daughter my hands. I pulled on her skin at the top-side of her hand and then pulled up on mine. “See” I said, “your skin is tight, look how mine stays up a little. That’s because I’m older. We all age but to age is actually a beautiful thing” and, I went on to talk about all the wisdom of aging, all the joys of a life lived well. Of course, my mistake was telling this to a three-year old. After the three or four minutes I spent telling her how aging is wonderful she marched over to her Grannie-rie, pulled hard on her skin at the back of her hand and proclaimed “See, yours stays up a long long time, you’re really old” Mamma, must have been totally in love with this little girl because against all normalcy (that should/would have been her) she just gave her granddaughter a big hug. She did, however, save the glare for me, which was, in all honesty, expected.
The last story isn’t about a dog. You were waiting for it, weren’t you? It is about a goldfish and the honesty between sisters. I title this one: Bug-eyed
Younger Sister: Screaming out “It’s dead, it’s dead”
Older Sister: “It’s not dead, silly, it’s taking its nap, just like we do. Now, let’s take our nap and when we wake up Bug-eyed will wake up too, isn’t that right, Mommy?”
“Right” I replied. First thing was to call in a neighbor to set. Then, after the girls were asleep, I rushed to the nearest pet shop where I bought a “Bug-eyed” replacement of
similar “Bug-eyedness” desperately trying to avoid the hysteria that would follow had I not.
(girls wake up from nap)
“See, Bug-eyed woke up from his nap and is swimming just like I said” Older sister says.
“It’s not the same Bug-eyed!”
“I know, the other one died and Mommy got a new own”
“Yes, but she didn’t mean to”
I sigh: speechless.My girls are grown now, of course, but the stories told above are true, real and involved all of them. Bug-eyed: middle daughter and older sister on the left; Mama’s hands, was about my daughter on the right. Mama’s Washing Machine is, of course, about me when I was five or six.
Aren’t children wonderful? It takes years to learn how to bend the truth and I’m always sad to see that lesson being learned. We adults call it “little white lies” but honestly, I think that life has no room for “little white lies” and we all should be more like children every chance we get.