Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When Parents Lose Their Innocence

This afternoon a friend mentioned in a post that she was a bit worried about the sudden 'quiet' that had occurred in her household - worried about what awful things might be around the corner.

That made me think about a quick story - which of course led to other stories.

I don't know about the rest of you, but when my friends started having kids and I realized that they knew just as little then as they did when we were kids, I thought long and hard about how my parents always seemed as if they knew everything and were never surprised by the stunts the three of us kids pulled.  They had some serious poker faces, I guess.

Now, I think I would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall as they contemplated our demise and as they lamented their own loss of innocence due to the craziness three children brought to a home.

One day, when Carol would have been a baby and I was still just a toddler, Mom had to be gone for awhile.  Dad promised to stay with me, but he had absolutely no idea that watching me might require active participation.  He was quite grateful that I was such a good kid and left him alone so that he could relax and read the paper.  He knew where I was and since there was no screaming or crying, running around or noise, was fairly confident I was safe.

Until Mom got home.  She walked in ... saw the extent of the mess I had created right behind his chair with a couple of lipstick tubes and began howling with laughter.

"Frank, where is your daughter?" 

"She's right here."

"Do you know what she is doing?"

At that point, he knew that his sweet and wonderful little girl had made a fool of him.  He got up out of the chair, came around behind and that I had covered myself, my clothing, the back of the chair, the floor, the wall and everything else within reach in lipstick. 

"But she was quiet!"

"Frank, the time to worry is when the children are quiet."

His innocence had lasted just a short time.  I doubt that he ever let me out of his sight again.

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