Mean big sister

It was a gloomy, cold, windy day, much like today.  I emerged, clad as an alien, from between the two buildings that belonged to the Baptist Church next door to my granny’s house.  My 5th grade imagination coupled with findings from an elderly woman’s closet probably didn’t provide the most believable attire, but the costume served its purpose in deceiving my unsuspecting siblings.

“My name is Zeus and I came from another planet.  If you don’t do as I say, I will take you back there with me.”  This is what I told my younger brother and sister in the best alien voice I could muster. They didn’t realize that earlier, I had disappeared into my granny’s bedroom, adorned myself in some of her clothes, wrapped my hair up in a turban using some material she had, and covered my face completely in white powder.  While I readied myself for the subterfuge, I prepared my story.  And don’t ask me why I picked the name Zeus, it had nothing to do with Greek mythology.

Spaceship airbornBefore going outside, I clued Granny in on my plan and she giggled and said, “I don’t know Lisi-O (her pet name for me)”, you might scare them.  I’m sure the old green and white floor length curtains rustled as she kept a close eye on my movements, taking care that things didn’t go too far.

After I told them who as was, and my intentions to take them away with me as soon as my spaceship returned, they cowered on the ground, visibly shaken.  Their eyes were wide as saucers and they hovered together anxiously awaiting my next command.

It didn’t take very long for me to either feel sorry for them, or my grandmother to intervene.  In all honesty, I don’t remember which occurred first.  However, they had to be convinced of the truth to abate the tears.  I remember having to remove some of the garb or say or do something right away to make them recognize that it was only I, the meanie; the elder sister who made their lives miserable enough without adding such fear to it.

I mentioned that I was writing this to my sister and she reminded me that after I told them the truth we all went back outside and played “Zeus and her prisoners”.  I ordered them around and they willingly complied, anxious to continue the fun.

Looking back, I have no idea why they believed I was really an alien, or fell for the ruse, but when you are young, you are more gullible, you see things through the imaginative, all-believing, trusting eyes of a child.

I know this is an odd little story, but there is comfort in the memories.  I think of Granny, laughing and plotting and rescuing.  Then there is the quality time (well, most of it was quality) spent with her and my brother and sister.  We had many “Norman Rockwell” moments  🙂

Slow down, have some fun

I’m sitting here with heavy eyelids looking at all the Christmas decorations scattered all over the place.  I had good intentions, I really did.  I was going to have the inside of my house completely decorated today.

I got up early this morning, did my devotions, enjoyed my coffee and started off with a bang.  Seven boxes later, tree up and the remaining mountain of merriment covering my dining room table and floor, I lost my momentum.  Then my daughter said, “Let’s go to the movies”.  That was the end of it, so here I sit at 10:00pm surrounded by nutcrackers, snow men, greenery, angels and scented candles galore with no energy left at all.

But, I will have to say, I’m very proud of myself.  Normally when I put my mind to something, there is nothing that can stop me.  I tend to be a very resolved, stay with the program, planner or some might say more like a rigid, unbending, fanatic.  It’s unlike me, out of character to just drop everything on a whim, just to go have fun.

This felt good though; more quality time with my daughter and her friend and I got to see a movie I’ve been wanting to see, not to mention the peppermint chocolate chip milkshake from Chick Fil A.  Honestly, I look back and wish I could say that I had done this a lot more often, especially when my children were younger.  The house might not have been as clean and maybe I wouldn’t have felt as “in control”, but we would have had more fun. I’ve heard it asked before, “What will our children remember?  A clean house or the priceless memories we shared with them?”  Thankfully, I was blessed with lots of good memories and I’m sure my children were as well.  However, I know there were times when I was too busy, or just too devoid of flexibility to mix things up a bit for the sake of frivolity.

If you have young children, don’t hesitate to stop whatever you’re doing and embrace those moments.  They are gone all too quickly.  Sometimes I think that is why grandparents are so amazing; because they have learned this and will more often make the time to make a memory.

If God has blessed you with a child, grandchild, niece, nephew or any other child you spend time with, share your knowledge with them, lead them, guide them, but take care to just stop what you are doing sometimes and have fun!  Play in the water hose, make pictures out of the clouds, play that game and listen with your heart.  You won’t regret one minute of it!

Good night; I’ll be dreaming that elves come in and finish my decorating by morning….

Mitch Teemley

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