Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Whoops Didn't Expect That One

I think my kids like hearing stories of when I was a kid because they realize that I also made some of the same mistakes that they make or have made.

When I was six years old I kicked in a brand new storm window. So new that the "workers" were sipping ice tea on the porch above. I lived in Central Phili. at the time of this incident. And I remember the day, and the events leading up to breaking this window.

I was a very mild kid. A bit of a challenge I am told with constant chattering. I am sure that my kids got this trait from me. I was standing outside on a hot day watching, like any curious child, the process of installing a window. We lived in a row house where the daylight basement window came right up to the sidewalk. It was very cool to watch and the best activity going on that day so there I stood. Asking question after question to the workers. I asked if it was a strong window. The workers told me it was very strong and could handle any storm, thus the name "storm window".

I asked if the new window could handle thunder storms, and rain storms and the answers were yes to every question. They finished up and picked up their tools. Miss Elizabeth ( our nanny at the time) came outside and told me to come and eat lunch. I went inside, ate my lunch and went back outside. The workers were sitting on the porch quenching their thirst. I went down the concrete stairs to the sidewalk and decided that I really wanted to test the strength of this window. My curiosity was no outburst of aggression, nor was it anger, just curious of it's strength.

With my clunky saddle shoes I tapped the window and remember thinking.."yep this is strong". I kicked the window a little harder. "Yep, the workers are right this is sure a strong window." And then with my short little leg and clunky shoe I decided to give it my best kick and I soon learned that the window was not as strong as I thought. The window was shattered. I remember looking up and seeing everyone peering over the porch, looking down at me and yelling. I told the workers that it was no such a strong window after all.

The logic of a child. Emily shares now what her thought process was behind many of her moments of what seemed like a devious child. I understand completely when a child looks with a blank face and has no explanation for what they have done, as I too once was curious.

Perhaps that is why I have so much patience and understanding in matters such as these. I took my bike apart when I was 10 years old. Right down to the last bolt. I wanted to build a bike. And the only way I figured I could do it was to take mine apart and I did. I got into big trouble and was spared a spanking when I said I could put it back together and I did. I was curious how bikes were made. My mind was not intending to upset anyone, or break rules that were never communicated. What parent needs to post a sign...."DO NOT TAKE THINGS APART!!!" My mom should have because there were a few other things I took a part and believe me taking a part a sewing machine was no easy task to put back together.

I understand when they come to me with that look of "whoops" didn't expect that one. How do you handle those "whoops" moments? I hope with patience and understanding. You never know where that curiosity will take that young child as an adult. Blessing!!


  1. Loved that story and how it showed the logic of a child. That's a good lesson for all of us moms out here.

  2. That helps me realize I need to ask some questions of my girls when they do things I just don't understand. Asking questions will be way better than yelling at them. Thanks for sharing.


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