When I was growing up, we had family friends that we often visited. One of our long-standing traditions was to sneak into their bathrooms and flip all the toilet paper rolls around. They always insisted on putting the rolls on the bar the wrong way, and my sister and I felt that it was our duty to lead them to the path of truth. (The paper rolls over the top, my friends. Over the top. Amen.)
Well, Little Miss never got the T.P. memo. The other day she frantically ran into the master bath and, seeing that she had used up the roll, she kindly replaced it with another. The problem was this: she put it on the wrong way. Later, in an OCD fit, I was about to whip it around when I caught myself. There was nothing really wrong here. In fact, everything was right. She had responsibly replaced the roll and the only difference was . . . her trademark. I left it.
Of course my mind developed all sorts of metaphors about how my inclination was to change my child's behavior rather than to allow her to express herself. (Lately this has also manifest itself in some fabulous outfits and hair-dos. Oh, the way I quietly wrung my hands as she prepared for church this morning. But I held my tongue, folks! I did it!) But really, how often do I try to change something not because it's wrong but simply because it's different? There the roll remained, and I now use it as a reminder to pray for my Little Miss.
Remember those cute little eggs we decorated for Easter? In my mind it made sense to keep them out for a nice long time. They were pretty and festive and provided a lovely addition to our spring centerpiece. The other day as I was wiping down the dining room table, my nose was met with the most horrific odor I have ever encountered. (This from a woman who has changed 2,367,986,563,291 diapers.) I leaned toward the centerpiece and beheld a crack in one of the dear eggs. Oh, friends.
If you've read or seen Charlotte's Web, you will likely remember the part about Templeton's rotten egg. It disgusts everyone, but the readers or viewers can't really experience it unless they've . . . experienced it. Because in illustrations and animation a foul odor is usually represented by wavy lines. There were no wavy lines in my kitchen, dear friends. But it was enough to make me understand that it must be a very, very terrible thing to realize the ramifications of the childhood chant, "the last one there."
Speaking of eggs, let's consider another event which
had us in tears this afternoon. Gathered around our Sunday brunch (that's actually the only part that has to do with eggs), the
children were talking about anything and everything under the sun.
Eventually the conversation worked its way toward dreams, and they began
to share the "really weird dreams" they had had last night.
wove his tale, and we listened to the quaint narrative with eager
attentiveness. Well, most of us did. Little Miss was not as amused. As
soon as he finished his tale she leveled him. "I make up dreams
sometimes, and you look like the kind of person who would make up dreams. It sounds like you're having trouble while you're telling your dream. So I don't believe you. Liar!"
faces turned red. We stifled the laughter, but the tears streamed. I blindly fetched the Kleenex to wipe off the mascara that was trailing down my cheeks. We attempted to
compose ourselves while explaining that we shouldn't call brother a
liar, but it didn't really work. And I'm not even sure what happened next.
I'm still crying.