I wish that I could think of just one thing, one moment, that stands apart from the rest when it comes to being ‘wild’ as a child.
Such is not the fate for one such as I.
Dubbed by one of my mother’s reoccurring clients, I am a (once proud) part of Mary Ann’s Heathen Children.
And this was one of the few people that was so shy and hesitant that our mother told us very strongly that we would be on our best behavior around him or so help her we would be grounded for well over a month and she would be giving our only t.v. away. (And this was back before we had a computer when not everyone had one easily accessible.)
I don’t even remember much about that particular patron (Mom designed a lot of clothes for him, though) except for the fact that he was this larger-than-life looking man from a distance and a really quiet, retiring person up close. (And that man had a bakery and made the best muffins I have ever tasted.)
Anyway, I know why we would be labeled ‘Mary Ann’s Heathen Children’ because we were little savages with, strangely enough, excellent table manners. (Mom always got compliments whenever there was a community or youth group activity that needed those because people were always really surprised that we knew not only have to properly set (what my nephew refers to as ‘fancy’) the table, but also had impeccable table manners ourselves. (We also knew how to clean just about anything including crystal and silver.)
(This is kind of a ramble-y day isn’t it?)
But I guess the one example I can think of off hand that is both a perfect picture and an average day for what I was like as a child is this memory:
My youngest two siblings and I liked to collect large sticks that could easily double as a bo staff (we practiced with them often enough that we could do some pretty cool tricks). We also created little bows and arrows from fallen tree branches in our backyard. (We lived on something like a third of an acre.)
One summer afternoon, a stranger appeared on our land. His physical appearance is not remembered, but the green of his jeep was.
He had come take one of our own.
We could not allow this.
We gave mighty chase to this interloper and soon trapped him upon the roof of his vehicle. Running around it we chanted and shook our mighty weapons at him until the Almighty One called to us for her hour of worship.
Gleefully we left our captive, certain that he would not make off with one of our own for She too was with the Almighty One as the Almighty One’s Defender.
Our captive made his escape, never to be seen again.
In short, a teen came to take one of my older sisters out on a date. We greeted him as we were wont to do at that point in our lives to make certain that he was worthy of her by seeing how well he could handle small children chasing him with large sticks.
My sister was not pleased when she came out from where her friend (whose nickname was Umba the Almighty, by the way) had been helping her get ready for the date.
Yeah, we got grounded for that one, but it didn’t really stop us from doing the same thing to other would-be dates for our elder sisters.
This same sister’s husband was one of the few to get us to stop greeting teenage boys wishing to date our sisters this way. My brother-in-law was not amused by our actions when he came to take my sister out. His elder brother (who had also dated a different sister, but only a handful of times before they decided they were better off as friends) had thought that our ways of greeting people hilarious and played along with us chasing him and making off with his hat, car keys, watch, etc.
So yes, I was quite the little heathen as a child.
I am forever grateful that my nieces and nephews are much better behaved than I was. (Even if they have no idea how to set the table for a fancy dinner.)
This little ramble down memory lane was brought to you by Dungeon Prompt: Where the Wild Things Are.