While lounging on the beach with friends (and watching a little boy drag his unwilling sister through a school of minnows swimming in the lake) the topic of childhood games arose. Naturally, the conversation quickly turned to a subject I’m sure we’re all familiar with.
Fighting with siblings.
The oldest of four, I’ve had my fair share of sibling battles — most commonly with my younger sister. While Hayley and are (and truly always have been) the best of friends, our relationship used to be a tad bit more…well…violent.
This was mostly my fault. Despite being two and a half years my junior, Hayley’s always been the taller, stronger, and generally more athletic sister. It would be logical to assume she would reign supreme in terms of our sisterly catfights.
But that assumption would be wrong.
Oh so very wrong.
What I lacked in physical strength I made up for in scrappiness and the absence of scruples. I would kick, bite, scratch and pull hair until my sister was in tears. I must have looked just like Jolie does when she growls, snarls and tries to bite a big, strong Pit Bull in the face, despite her less than intimidating stature.
(Sorry for comparing you to a Pit Bull, Hayley.)
Sure, my sister could have knocked me out at any second, but she was far too kind to ever consider such physical violence. She’d exert just enough strength to keep me at bay, but went out of her way to avoid inflicting harm. To this day, I feel incredibly guilty about the way I treated her, even if we are able to laugh at all of it in hindsight.
One of our most memorable battles was the bunk bed war of 1994. Taking advantage of my eldest child position, I had staked my claim in the top bunk bed of our shared room. Seniority has its perks, after all. Hayley and I had gotten into a squabble about something or other while I was sitting atop my high-rise perch reading the latest issue of Tiger Beat. So enraged by whatever we were fighting about, I removed the wooden safety guard from the edge of my bed, and threw it towards my poor, unsuspecting sister with all of my might.
Luckily, she wasn’t unsuspecting as I had assumed. As the twenty pound slab of wood came careening towards her, she simply stepped to the side, allowing it to crash smack dab into the center of my closet door. She rolled her eyes an snickered at the whopping 12-inch hole I had unintentionally created. My parents decided I must live with the damaged door as part of my punishment. (To this day, it’s still there.)
Five years later, I was a freshman in high school. While mature enough to no longer physically harm my sister, we still had our fair share of arguments. I’ll never forget the Sunday afternoon Hayley decided to lock me out of our bedroom. Our door didn’t actually have a lock, which meant keeping me out consisted of wedging her body into the door and using her body weight to keep it shut.
While conquering a teenage girl’s bedroom is bad enough, doing it while she’s in the midst of styling her hair is practically a cardinal sin. (At least that was the reasoning I used for trying to force the door open.) I pressed both hands against the facade, quickly learning that I was no match for Hayley’s strength.
Unless I resorted to kicking.
And that, fellow blog readers, is how I single
handedly footedly created a second hole in one of my childhood bedroom doors.
But this time was different. While Hayley hadn’t technically created the hole, she knew she would be held equally responsible as she had kept me out of the room. Suddenly, the fight was over as we launched into “let’s not get into trouble” mode. After a few minutes of brainstorming, we had concocted a plan. We would print a Bible verse (Philippians 4:13) out on the computer, and hang it over the hole. It was the Sabbath day, after all.
Within ten minutes, the coverup was in place.
“I think they’re going to know…” I muttered hesitantly, “It looks weird since it’s down by where my foot hit…it should be at eye level.”
“Let’s just print out a bunch more and hang them randomly to cover the whole door–Mom and Dad will never know!” Hayley chirped.
And that is how the door to our bedroom came to know the Lord. My parents were delighted with the “decor” we had selected, and didn’t discover the hole until years later, when I was out of the house and married to Scott.
Looking back on this story, I couldn’t help but wonder what other problems I could solve if I simply “put a Bible verse on it”.
That new car I accidentally dinged when opening the door to my Corolla in the supermarket parking lot?
Put a Bible verse on it! (Preferably one about forgiveness.)
The giant scratch on my apartment wall that I’m too lazy to paint over before we move out?
Put a Bible verse on it! (Surely, that would guarantee I get my deposit back…right?)
Scott’s designer wool sweater that I accidentally shrunk in the dryer?
Put a Bible verse on it! (Bonus points if it’s embroidered.)
Now if only I could figure out a way to put Bible verses on all of the food I end up burning. Perhaps I should invest in some of that decorators frosting that’s made for writing “Happy Birthday” in cursive? (Clearly I would scrawl out Thessalonians 3:10.)
I think I’m on to something here…