Sunday, May 19, 2013

When Kids Tell the Rest of the Story: The Mark of Zorro

As my kids moved well into adulthood I began to wonder if we had reared Paul Harveys. As with most active kids, there were events that occurred in their lives that caused us to wonder how and if they would survive to become adults. Now they take delight in telling the rest of some of these stories.

In preparation of supper one day, I found one of the large kitchen knives had large nicks in it. This made me curious enough to check the other knives. All of the largest knives had nicks in them.

We brought up three boys so it didn't take me more than a nanosecond to make some very frightening assumptions. I didn't even ask the boys what happened. This time I had no patience for deception.

I tore into the three of them with a no nonsense lecture about playing sword fight with real knives? This was a parent’s nightmare.

“The way that these knives are nicked I know that you clowns could have inflicted some serious wounds on each other. What on Earth were you thinking?” I answered my own question. “Of course, you weren't thinking!”

I turned on Don because he was the oldest of the three. He was four years older than Tim and five and one-half years older that Kevin. He was the one most likely, in my mind, to wound one of the others and deception was always his first initiative when something went wrong.

“One of you could have cut an artery on the other and he would have bled to death in minutes. What were thinking, Don?”

“I don’t know.” That was his answer for everything, if he talked at all, when confronted with a wrong doing.

“You would have been worried about cleaning things up so that you weren't discovered, wouldn't you?”

“Yeah!” That was his second favorite answer.

“You would have been trying to clean up blood while one of your brothers bled out the rest of the way. I probably would have to notice the fresh turned earth in the garden to know what happened to him. It would be your biggest cover-up.”

This one had really scared me. I worked an 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM shift and my wife worked 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM so except for about thirty minutes, in the morning before school, the boys had a parent around. What could happen to reasonably well brought up and generally well-behaved kids in thirty minutes? This incident made it seem very possible to me that they could kill each other.

As an adult, about 20 years later Tim, the second of the three sons told me the rest of the story. In fact, one of them had been cut and, just as I had feared, they simply concealed it. Fortunately, it wasn't a severe cut.

According to Tim, Kevin was standing on the kitchen counter faced off with Don who was standing on the floor. A lunge and slash movement was misjudged and Don was actually slashed on the scalp. The cut wasn't deep enough to require stitches and was behind his hairline.

Just as I had feared, Don led the effort to conceal the wound and nothing was said until I found the damaged knives. It never occurred to Don that, like a crayoned paper patch on a hole in a bedroom door, somebody might eventually notice damaged knives.

Watch for the next story in the series of When Kids Tell the Rest of the Story: Just in Beaver. The first story can be found by clicking here.

No comments:

Post a Comment