I was sitting alone on my bed, wondering how I could jump aboard a passing train and get the heck out of Dodge.
Maybe the circus needed another act.
Perhaps hitchhiking across the country could help me pass the time.
My six-year-old mind was limited when it came to ideas about how to escape, but I had to think of something quick.
My red and white sweater looked pitiful with its ripped edges of a hole near my right shoulder. My teacher had stapled a note on my sweater earlier that day, and in an attempt to destroy the evidence...I ended up destroying my sweater.
And getting caught, I might add.
Apparently, just because my Paw Paw said a certain word was “used in the Bible” didn’t mean that it could be used on the playground.
My mother instantly saw the hole in my sweater and put it all together in her mind. Our teachers always stapled a note to your shirt explaining what happened whenever you got in trouble, and Momma could read me like an open book.
She broke me within minutes.
My punishment included a stern talk from Momma and a visit with a switch from Maw Maw. And now I was alone, in my despair. My room seemed darker than usual. And my toys didn’t offer the security and fun that they normally did after school.
Momma gave me the speil on how she was disappointed in me. Maw Maw informed me that the mother of the little boy I insulted was her coupon-clipping buddy.
So, for now, I sat alone in my room. I had to wait to be “released” from my jail cell.
But then I heard the screen door swing open. I heard those familiar keys hit the kitchen table. That familiar smell of pipe tobacco lingered down the hallway.
My partner in crime...Paw Paw was home.
I heard his boots coming toward my room. I let out a little whimper to let him know I was confined to my prison.
Easing the door open, I saw his curved pipe stick through the crack before I even saw his face.
“What are you doing up in here,” he asked, entering my room.
I told him everything. I explained that the boy took my turn at the swing set and that I called him “that word.” I told him about the note, ripped sweater, stern talk, switch episode and the final order to report to my room.
Paw Paw took in a deep breath and jerked his pipe out of his mouth.
“You want to go with me to town,” he asked, adjusting one of the straps on his overalls.
I instantly jumped up, smiled and shook my head like one of those bobbing head dolls.
I must admit that I was strutting as we made our way through the kitchen. I was going to town, ripped sweater and all.
I never understood what really happened that day. But I see the same scenario happening in my own house today.
All our daughter Elsie has to do is sniffle a few times, muster up a couple of tears....and my husband Jason is in the palm of her hands.
My firm speeches and occasional stern voice will send her literally running into Jason’s arms. Her explanations in her defense always seem to find a more sympathetic ear from her Daddy.
In the end, I am left alone in my actions. My punishment is reversed or at least reduced. I have been placed in time out.
And Elsie struts through the house with her daddy’s hand in hers. She has her partner in crime back.
And there is a new sheriff in town.