The other day I caught my son, Andre, systematically dismantling the photo albums and scrap books that took me years to compile. He was sitting there, completely content, just popping open the 3-ring, leather covered binders and sliding the shiny, protected pages out of order. "Andre!!!!" I screamed (of course), "what are you doing?!?!" He looked up at me, all nonchalant and said, "Mom, you started your mom's couch on fire and this isn't as bad as that."
I stood there. I was shocked because A- it was true. I had started my mom's couch on fire. And B- how in the world did he happen to come upon this information? He slowly started to place the pages in their correct albums (they're color coded) as I walked away. I was speechless. What do you say to that? I went in my room and thought awhile and what I decided was that first, my son shows remarkable promise for being a great lawyer. Who wouldn't win a case where you have dirt on the opposing counsel? And second, somebody in my family had been talking.
There was always a lot of teasing between me and my three younger brothers. Although I must say what I considered teasing, some of my younger brothers considered torture. It was at this point that I then realized that the wheel of pain had turned because now my brothers were filling my kids in on all the really bad stuff I did as a kid. Some things (other than setting the couch on fire, that cat is out of the bag) that I did that I would prefer my children to never know about include, but not limited to, are:
1. Pushing my brother through the dining room wall (technically he didn't go through it, but he went pretty far into it).
2. Taking my mom's car without permission and bottoming out in a ditch, punching a hole through the oil pan. I parked it in the driveway like nothing had happened and when she came out for work the next morning, guess what? Oil all over the drive way. Needless to say, it wouldn't start.
3. Knocking over my mom's china cabinet. Breaking the glass doors to the front of it and all the crystal in it (I had help with this one).
4. Locking up my brothers in various locations and feeding them Kool-Aid with a turkey baster.
5. Coming home with a nose ring. Enough said.
Reading this you may or you may not be thinking, wow, Kelly was a real naughty girl. Or hell-raiser. Or delinquent. But get this. I was actually one of the good kids in my family. Good by comparison. Growing up we were all a little naughty. Or just really bored. As I mentally scrolled through this list, I realized that if anymore of this information got out, I could be in even more trouble than I was as a kid.
"Oh, yeah. Mom, you know that new dent in your car? Well, you totally broke your mom's car and this isn't as bad as that."
"Mom, what do you think of my belly button ring? At least it's not on my face like yours was."
"Sorry I locked Andre out of the house. You locked your brothers up in the house and that is definitely worse."
I'm starting to feel sweaty and sick to my stomach. What am I going to do? I will tell you. Bribery. I will have to give my brothers something that means more to them than shocking my children with the highlight real of "The Worst Things Kelly Ever Did".
But then I sweat more because I realize that there is nothing in this world that is as great as seeing your sibling squirm. Nothing is better than getting back at someone after 25 years of holding injustice close to your heart. Now I will be the one locked up. I will be the one that will smile sweetly and be forced to say prettyprettypleasewithacherryontop 16 times because I am the one who is trapped behind a row of bar stools.
Please, my dear, sweet, kind, intelligent, and above all attractive brothers. Play nice.
PS Just a little note about setting the couch on fire. Much to my children's disappointment, I did not burn down the couch. Aidan asked me the other day where I got the oil to start the fire going. Oil? What oil? The tale was getting taller everyday. I had to set the story straight. What really happened was I was playing with a candle (fire was my friend) and decided to sit it upright on a cushion while I got a drink. Of course, it tipped over and burned a hole about the size of a small orange on the arm of the couch. It mostly burned the arm covering, which I hid in my brother's closet. I then artfully positioned the pillows to hide the damage. Very well, I might add. We were leaving for Yellowstone the next day and I was worried if my mom saw it, she would say we couldn't go. When we get back from vacation and I am surfing a geyser and hot spring high (geology was my friend too) and have completely forgotten about the burning-of-the-couch incident. She goes to put my brother's clothes away and guess what comes tumbling down off the top shelf. The evidence. I remember getting caught, but that's it. I really don't remember a punishment. Maybe I blocked it from my mind.