On this rainy day, I was inspired to write something in response to Fandango’s February Expression #5:
Children should be seen and not heard.
Growing up with three siblings had its challenges and its rewards. When we were younger, we always had each other’s backs. That may have changed somewhat in our teen years, but as young children we would blatantly lie to keep each other out of harm’s way.
My dad was a big guy with a deep bass voice. When he called us by first and middle names, we knew trouble was afoot. It was best not to poke the bear.
I remember on one particular occasion we had ‘company’ and we knew to be on our best behavior. We were living at my grandmother’s two story house at the time. On this particular night, one of us got the bright idea we should just gather a few things to take upstairs and play with so as not to disturb the adults. We knew to be quiet and not give Dad any reason to intervene in our behavior — especially not while company was there! Children should be seen and not heard was the unspoken law of the land.
Upstairs, we had acquired the base of my grandmother’s glass percolator. We were very engaged mimicking the entertaining going on downstairs. All was well until someone decided our imaginary coffee needed some cream and sugar. The glass marbles acting as stand-ins for the sugar hit the bottom of the glass vessel and we heard the sound of glass cracking. The web-like crack spread across the entire bottom of the coffee pot.
Together, the four of us decided the best course of action was to carry the percolator back downstairs and return it to the kitchen. We huddled together so as to camouflage the evidence. We were stealth-like and no one made a peep. Once returned, we felt in the clear and started back upstairs.
“You kids come here right now.” We knew the voice and we knew the tone. We each backed down the stairs to face our father — all in front of company!
So much for children should be seen at not heard.