On Saturday I laid down a law: The kids must clean their bedrooms while I cleaned mine. Sounds simple right? In a perfect world my children would be diligent in getting the job done and over, so they had more time to play. However, whenever any task is given, they usually hem and haw and distract themselves with any article that comes along. I will say however, they come by this honestly–I kept getting distracted by UT Rocket football. Of my two children, the doll wins the award for diligence. She’d like to have her room repainted and switched around-so as she cleaned, she brainstormed. ” Mom, what color do you think would look good in here?” she asked. “Lavender” I replied. Not happy with my repsonse she replied, “Really mom?” and rolled her eyes, before moving on. Lavender as you may have guessed is the present color of her bedroom. IMG_1288

The boy on the other hand; I kept walking into his room to ensure he was actually doing something other than cleaning the growing number of pocket knives he’s been collecting. “Bay really–all the clothes on top of the dressers actually will fit into the empty dresser’s drawers  Please be a dear and fill the drawers” I said on my first look-see into his room. The next time I opened the door, the boy quickly shoved something behind his frame-as if trying to hide the item behind him. Standing in the threshold of his room I said, “Give it” as I outstretched my right hand. “It’s not what you think…” He replied nervously knowing if I catch him playing with an electronic device instead of doing his chores, he may never get the device back. “Let me be the judge…” I said insisting he give me his hidden gem. “Ohhhkay…” He said, reaching behind him and pulling out an old child’s pop gun. Surprised as he stood up to place the gun in my hand I asked, “Where did you find this?”and was immediately filled with nostalgia from a time when I too owned a similar looking pop gun. “When I helped clean out Great Grammy’s attic I found it…” He said.  Closing the barrel back into the gun, I flipped the gun in my hand, so I could properly grip the gun. “Be careful mom…” The boy began. Fascinated I replied, “I will. I used to own one of these when I was a little girl. Pulling back the hammer of the gun, I pulled the trigger and POP! went the gun which filled the hallway with an acrid smoke.

I can just imagine what we all looked like there for a moment. Me filled with nostalgia at the thought of pulling that trigger until the loud noise and smell broke me from my reverie. The boy’s eyes grew immediately larger at the realization I had just shot off the gun and then desperately tried to retrieve the gun back before I shot once more.  The doll, startled by the loud noise, bolted from her room into the hallway, only to lift her hand over her nose and declare the room stunk; before turning and closing her bedroom door to us.  Closing my hand around the gun again, I looked back at the boy and said, “I didn’t know this was loaded! See how accidents inside the homes can happen?!! “Mom I only have eight caps left. Please don’t pull the trigger anymore!!” “Bay, seriously, these caps are like over 40 years old. I can’t believe you loaded this. This could have been really, really bad” I replied still hanging onto the gun. “Okay, I’ll unload the gun…” He offered.

“Clean your room and then we’ll discuss this with your dad” I said and turned and walked away. Later when his dad arrived I showed him the cap gun and recounted the tale. We both laughed…surprised the caps still worked, surprised by the nostalgia we both felt when we held the gun and surprised the boy had not only found the gun, but the caps too. In addition he managed to keep the gun a secret for so long. Hmm..perhaps I should help him clean his room more often… I wonder what else we might come across…





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