Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blessing the Boundaries, Part 2

Once upon a time, a beautiful, golden-haired princess of a girl lived in a snug stone house with her parents and baby brother.  Most of the time, she conducted herself like a little lady and charmed all who knew her; occasionally, however, she forgot she was a princess and behaved rather badly, as we all are prone to do.

On one such day, her baby brother lay on a pallet of quilts on the floor.  Colorful toys swung from a plastic rod arching over his chest.  He was too little yet to aim very well, but occasionally in waving his arms around he would make contact with a toy and grin happily as it swung and clicked, rattled, or squeaked.

Taking advantage of a momentary lapse in the grown-ups' attention, Princess pulled back one of the toys as far as it would go.  When she released it, it swung too far and smacked her brother in the face.  He cried.  The grown-ups frowned and told her to stop. Now things were getting interesting.

When they looked away, again she swung a toy and struck her brother.  He cried, the grown-ups looked even more stern, and her mama told her to stop.  Now.

Once more, she cranked back the toy and let it fly.  Everyone was paying attention now.  Mama got down on her level, looked her in the eye, unfurled her name to its full length, and said, "What part of 'no' don't you understand?"

Without missing a beat, Princess pointed at the still-swinging toy bar and said, "That part."

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