What rascals my grandfather and his twin brother were! When I think of what their mom put up with, I feel part of a sorority of Mothers with Sons, that apparently has been in existence since Eve put up with Cain and Abel.
My great grandparents lived next door to Aunt Em (we are still trying to figure out who she was and how she was related) when my grandfather was a little tyke. She always had a cookie jar filled with molasses cookies which she freely gave to the twins. It started to interfere with dinner, though, so Nonny asked Em to stop giving the boys those wonderful cookies. The next day, Nonny found the boys (who had to be only about 4 years old) dragging an enormous ax out of the shed and across the yard. She ran outside to see what trouble they were headed towards. They said, “We are going to chop off Aunt Em’s head because she won’t give us any more cookies!”
One summer evening a year or two later, the boys were outside exploring when they wandered farther than they were supposed to. They found some night crawlers under a street lamp that had come above ground. Really quickly they ran home for a can with big plans to go fishing the next morning. Nonny, meanwhile had started canvasing the neighborhood searching for her missing little boys. She finally spied two little figures kneeling in the distance. They were so intent on their digging and planning that they never heard her sneak up behind them. She reached down and grabbed each of them by the nape of the neck and marched them home. Bumpa said that being seized unexpectedly by a looming figure in the dark was the most frightening experience of his life.
My hat is off to my great grandmother. The more I learn about the scrapes that my grandfather and his brother got into, the more I realize what an amazing woman she was. And the more I realize that boys have been giving their mothers fits for ages.