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Early life lessons

 

Jimmie Batchelor
Guest Columnist

  When you stop and think about it, not a day goes by that we do not learn some type of life lesson. I remember those of younger years the most, I suppose because they were the hardest to learn. Chuckling through the memories of some, I decided to write down a few to share with you. These are from very young years, around six or seven years of age. Possibly, this will bring up some good, maybe some not-so-good, memories of your own!

  Donít sneak out of the house while your mother is taking a nap. You may end up in a ball game with older kids, get hit in the head with a ball, knocking you back against a splintery telephone pole, tearing a hole in your new corduroy pants and posterior. You will get caught, but some hard crying does soften the punishment. That lesson didnít take, but the second time I got caught climbing out my bedroom window did.

  Never step into a creek with new shoes on. That creek bottom is like quicksand and will suck a shoe right off your foot and you will never see it again. I didnít. Another lesson on shoes is do not leave your shoes, especially new Easter shoes, outside. An animal may chew one of them up.

  In my case, it was my uncleís birddogs. I wonder what shoes I wore for Easter that year. My grandmother painted the leftover shoe gold and I still have it.

  When your mother tells you not to touch freshly baked cupcakes, donít. Grownups can count.  Donít try to clean cupcake crumbs off your hands with blades of grass. You will get in a hurry because your mother might be calling you when she discovers your theft and your fingernail might get turned inside out. I will tell you that this would be punishment enough!

  Stop blaming everything on your brother. Especially if you are sitting in the backseat of a car by a window with no handle because it flew out the window ten miles back when you tried closing it. If you had been immediately truthful, your daddy might have stopped and retrieved his window handle. You wouldnít get punished because it was accidental, right?

  There is no sense whatsoever in packing a suitcase and announcing you are running away. Where would you run to? Once my mother did think my brother had run away, but the police found him stuck up in a tree around the block. She was so happy to find him; he got no punishment at all.

  Do you think that second grade is too young to forge a letter to your teacher, supposedly from your mother? I didnít. I discovered that a note from home would give permission for me to have a Coke at lunchtime. I loved Coke. I remember having no doubt this would work. My teacher immediately asked if my mother had really written that note. Of course she did! I did get my Coke, the teacher said she knew I had written the note, but she would allow me a Coke this one time, but not to do it again. I didnít.

  Never run around outside with your mouth wide open. A bug will surely fly in. One did. I never ran with an open mouth again.

  When you are at the pool around a really cute lifeguard, do not be tempted to tell your little friend he is your brother. It will never fail that she wonít believe you and will go ask him if he really is your brother. The embarrassment is very tough to deal with. Taught me to live a lifetime of truthfulness. Or at least, not to stray too far from the truth, if absolutely necessary.

  I guess my next most embarrassing moment was when my aunt and mother took me to a cafeteria. I learned not to move when a waiter is setting your tray on the table and above all, do not stand up! I do remember my motherís words to my aunt, ďI wish a hole would just appear and swallow me up.Ē That tray just flew. Awful experience. For all of us.

  That is just a taste of some memories I keep of lessons while growing up. I try to be alert to lessons every day so I wonít lose the meaning behind them. I surely donít like repeating them. I still remember learning a fly swatter stings like the dickens when it is being whacked against bare legs and I still wonder how some big time criminals get away, but we, who are trying really hard just to make it through life, get caught every time.

 

 

 

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