All three of my children lived and travelled many places during their childhoods. Sometimes they travelled with us sometimes on their own, going with groups or clubs they joined. Lately I’ve been writing about the oldest boy, who was a born trickster who was born with a smile on his face and cooing sounds that sounded to us like “I love you”, even as a new born.
When we arrived in Minnesota, in St. Cloud, it was supposed to be the second worst snowstorm they had had in over 20 years. Zachary was about 6 or 7 and Dustin was 2 1/2. This was Zac’s 3rd move since being born in Edinborough. He seemed to be born a prankster. He smiled up at his 10 year old sister about the second day of his life, and yanked her long blonde hair. If you read about his birth, you will know that that was also serious, but funny.
Being the third move in his short life he learned to adapt to the role of “new kid” in every school he attended. For a couple of years, he endured bullying and about the time he hit the fourth grade, he had a perceptive teacher who allowed him to play a joke on a boy in his class who had been picking on him for several years. He borrowed a Dracula costume immediately after school and climbed into this young boy’s locker and waited until his tormenter was just about to open it. Out came ghostly sounds and as the boy opened the door, to the ghostly sounds and saw Zac in his Dracula costume, the boy ran …
Another time one his friends was teasing him during recess. He asked the boy to stop several times, then he picked up his friend and threw him onto a grassy area. I naturally wasn’t at all pleased, “You could have really hurt your friend.” His reply was, “i looked around and made sure he would land safely.
If you are a fan of the movie, “Grouchy Old Men” or have lived through long and very cold snowy winters, you may know the next one I am about to describe. The weather should be so cold that you must dress like an eskimo, with several layers of coats, scarves and hats, definitely warm boots. Take a hose with you (I kept wondering why Zac and his friend wanted to borrow my hose midwinter when it was practically useless.). He attached the hose at the victims home early in the morning or very late at night, Turn it on and hose the porch, the path and steps up to the house. Hopefully there will be snow banked up over the porch, slightly weaken its attachment with water, ring the door bell and hide. I have no idea how many times he and his friend played this joke , like some mothers I was totally ignorant.
The third area of mischief was summer camp. Zac always woke up early as a young boy. Evidently after a few days of teasing, they took a nature hike and took paper sacks with them added objects of interest into the sacks. Evidently he found several dead mice?, voles?…I’m not really sure and carried them back to the tent. While the other boys were gone for whatever reason he put a mouse in each boy’s sleeping bag, except one who never bothered him. then in the morning he placed the one he had for himself in a garbage can in the tent.
He woke very early before the others were awake and went to take his shower. While showering, he heard them shouting. All of them eventually found their mice, except one young man who ended up bringing it home from camp.
“What did his mother ever do to you?” I asked.
P. S. The story of Zac’s birth was quite unusual, I have written that down on another part of this website called Retrospect, the site set up by some friends for people who want to reminisce. It would take up too much room to put it in with this story for the family reunion.
born, lived, cried, appreciated, lost, found, lived, laughed, flew in my dreams,
taught others to fly in their dreams, became a telescope reflecting the stars,
dove to the depths of despair ,recovered and walked along the beach as the water escaped from the sea and erased my footprints.
I almost missed this story since it was not written on a prompt, but I’m so glad I found it. I like and admire your son for finding his own creative ways to get back at boys who had teased and bullied him. And I love your chagrined pride at watching him do it. Thanks for sharing this.
John you are so kind. Zac has always been a little different, but absolutely lovable. As an adult he and his wife are a pleasure to be around. He is a little like I tend to be but unique in his own way, and still has a wonderful sense of humor and a generous heart.