I just checked my phone and saw that Ed left me a message.  In the message he said, “Hey Beth, call me…I have a really good story to tell you.”

So I called…and his line is busy…so I will wait…though I am intrigued.  He doesn’t usually leave such messages.

As I wait I recall throughout this week I keep remembering an image from our very young childhood. It started when we were visiting our mom last week.  I keep remembering Ed running…away from our mom.

We were children of the early sixties.  We got bottles not breasts, spankings and not time outs.  I personally hated and hate spankings.  They caused me to not trust those beings who were supposed to care for me.  They used their height and weight advantage to inflict pain for such sins as spilling milk and disagreeing and sneaking a cookie and fighting with our siblings.  People who spank hope this will alter behavior…and it does….it just also destroys the sweet trust one could have with their kids.  Not enough of a trade off if you ask me.

Ed certainly got more spankings than my sister and I combined.  He wasn’t naughtier, he just wasn’t deft.  Vickie and I were nimble and smart and looked really good most of the time.  Ed looked like he was trying to get away with something at all times.  All things amiss were blamed on him.  Lucky he had a chubby hiney to bumper the angry hand or belt.

But what I admired in Ed was that when we were young…like before kindergarten young…he wouldn’t just take a spanking….he’d run.  It never occurred to me to run from such injustices…I just took it and thought to days when I would be bigger.  Ed ran.

So the image that kept running through my mind all week was this.  We had a picture window in our kitchen that looked out to our backyard.  There was a huge built-in playhouse, like a small garage outside that window…just about six feet away and centered perfectly in the yard.  It had two doorless doorways, one on each side of the thing, so that you could walk straight through it. 

I remember watching Ed as he realized he was about to get a spanking and began running out the kitchen door.  My mom would follow him.  Vic and I would always go straight to the window to watch, the way we went to the TV each afternoon to watch the Mickie Mouse Club.  We would get to the window and sit and watch as Ed did laps through the play house and Mom ran after him screaming.   

For a chubby kid he was so fast, and our mom would get so frustrated, but she couldn’t catch him.  So she would eventually stop and remember that although she couldn’t catch him, she could outsmart him. 

She would stop somewhere along the route and wait.  Ed would peep his fat cheeks from one or the other side of the playhouse.  Vickie and I never said anything during these escapades.  We weren’t laughing or angry or scared….we were simply witnesses.  Until…Ed looked to us to see if we would tell him where Mom was.  I was the youngest.  I never gave any indication of our mother’s whereabouts.  I was only about three and just couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do in this situation where there was the authority figure losing her mind and the brother being justifiably naughty.

Vic on the other hand calculated.  I never knew why she did what she did each time.  What was her motivation?  Who knew?  All I know is that sometimes she would point to where our mother was so Ed could continue evading her for a while longer….sometimes long enough that Mom would give up.  But sometimes, randomly, Vic would falsely point to where our mother was not, sending Ed right into our mother’s open, and ready to smack, hands.

That’s a story I always recall as being so surreal, because I had no words to explain or understand any of it, but it was a regular source of entertainment in our young childhood.