Joyfully Thwarting Youthful Shenanigans
It’s good to be an adult.
A few weeks ago we had an unusually warm day. The temps were in the 70s and it was dry and sunny outside. Around 4:00 p.m. I went into the living room to read.
Before I plopped down on the loveseat I decided to open the window just a little bit, about 2″, to take advantage of the pleasant fresh air. As I began to read I heard rustling sounds outside the window. That’s not unusual when you live on a wooded lot, so I didn’t think much about it.
It wasn’t until I heard voices that I became interested in what was happening outside the window.
“So you gonna do it?”
[Do what, thought I?]
I got up from the loveseat and walked over to look out the window. Immediately below me were two neighbor boys, about 10 years old, who were scrunched down hiding in our bushes while having a serious conversation about what one was going to do.
The gist of their conversation, that I could clearly overhear through the open window, was that one boy had challenged the other to run up onto our stoop, ring the doorbell, then run back into the bushes to hide.
A classic prank, no?
They figured, correctly, that from their vantage point crouched down in our bushes they’d be able to see whoever opened the door and watch that person look confused.
IT WAS GOING TO BE HILARIOUS.
They just knew it.
So I waited patiently at the window. Eventually one kid found the gumption he needed to be a prankster. He ran up onto the stoop, rang the bell, then darted into the bushes.
THERE WAS SNICKERING.
Lots of it.
I did nothing except stand quietly at the window looking down on the youth below, waiting to see what they were going to do when no one came to the door.
[Truth bomb, I may have been smiling a bit too much.]
As you can imagine when no one came to the door these two boys were defeated. Their classical prank had failed. Their shoulders sagged, they stood up in the bushes, and muttered. Then the one who’d rang the bell stepped out of the bushes and started to walk across our lawn to his house.
“Dude not that way they’ll see ‘ya.”
To which the first one looked exasperated as he shouted back to his friend still in the bushes, “THEY’RE NOT HOME, haven’t you been paying attention?”
And with that the boys walked slowly across our yard in plain sight, looking dejected, in a way that only failed pranksters can look.
And me, what did I do? I started laughing and am still smiling when I think about how I thwarted this prank. There are moments when being an adult is SO FUN!
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AND FINALLY FOUR READER COMMENTS…
About your take on the word Matriarch:
“I am the matriarch in my family, now that my mom is gone…and I don’t have a problem with that word. Or crone or even sea hag. So long as it is said to me with love, respect and good humour. No one laughs harder at me than myself 😂.”
“Call me any name you want to as long as I think ‘the shoe fits’…. ‘Elderly’ is a tough one, though. Some day, many years down the road, I may earn that particular stripe but only because of the eighty or ninety wonderful years leading up to it.”
“Matriarch is a word that means she is the head of her tribe, in my case, that would be my mother. My turn will come. Interpretation is a funny thing. Words are used in various ways and transform over the years, their original meaning becoming muddled.”
“Wow. I grew up in a matriarchal family so I see it as a compliment! Isn’t it funny how we all have our own perceptions based on our experience? Sea hag would raise my hackles!”