“Children should be seen and not heard’ and somehow that only applied to boys “- my brain smiled when I read those words this morning. Still chuckling, I am remembering my sisters and brother, aged 5 and 7, climbing out the second floor window of the parsonage, creeping down the six-inch shelf along the second floor the distance of the home and climbing down the pine tree at the end, covered in needles and sap. Not just once mind you, but a lot. My mother never knew. somehow, she was oblivious to all the shenanigans of my younger siblings.
Please understand, the demands of obedience were intensified being minister’s kids. That particularly applied to me, as the oldest. My parents placed a lot of responsibility on me. I was the quiet one by nature by I had my share of going out to pick my switch when I had disobeyed. But my illicit activities where nowhere near those of the others. Well, except for the time I was playing in the church while my Dad was counseling a couple in the parsonage’s office. I inadvertently turned on the organ and music, of a kind, rang through the neighborhood. I remember my Dad flying over to stop me but he could hardly contain the smile lurking about his lips as he chided me.I was about 5.
Although come Sunday morning, my Mother was yelling for us to get ready for church. When we were in church, it was the “whammy look” which brought us to heel. One of those was like the Death Star shooting rays at you – total inialation. I have had countless nightmares involving the whammy look, even through adulthood. Although I have to admit it was my adult years when I deserved a whammy look once in a while.
That rebellious, fiercely disobediant spirit lurked strongly in my son. I worked from home, not the easiest of tasks with young ones about. Once I was talking to a client and suddenly realized it was far too quiet. Finishing my call, I went to check on my son and his friend Luke. I couldn’t open the door. When I told my son, Yori, to open it, there was no response. I walked outside and looked through his window. Everything he ownded as crammed up against the door, including his mattress. (He was about 4 at the time). I gave him 5 minutes to put everything back. When I walked into his room, I was surprised how far he had achieved that goal. Later that night, I opened his closet to put clothes away and everytrhing tumbled out and on me.
Another time, while talking to a client, I heard chopping. When I finished the call, I went out to check on the boys (Luke again). (This is the boy who, at his wedding had his dogs carry the rings and act as best man and maid of honor) They had climbed the fence into the dog’s yard, gone into the garage. Took tswo hammers. And proceeded to chop large holes in the fence. Aghast, I tracked down the dogs and put the boys to work picking up wood. There were many such incidents in Yori’s childhood. Needless to sday, the kids won, the 10 year old job did not
.So the saying “Children should be seen and not heard” was a misnomer in my famly heirarchy.