“Now are you sure you understand what I just said?”
“Yes, Momma, I understand. I won’t go into Providence Hall, I promise.”
I skipped out of our apartment and walked briskly toward the little store three blocks away. This was the very first time Mom had let me go by myself. I was a big girl now, all of eight and feeling very important.
As I neared Providence Hall, an apartment complex where we previously lived, I smiled at friends out in the front yard and waved a hello to others looking out windows. Mom’s warning floated softy through my mind and then tumbled completely out of my head as the mother of a playmate invited me in to visit for a few minutes. Momentarily I recalled Mom’s warning and then suddenly, I heard myself saying ‘oh, Mom will never know.’
I visited a short time, fidgeting as I chatted with my girlfriend. As I slipped out of the building, others smiled, and gave hugs.
Mom was at the door to greet me upon my return. ‘Did you stop in at Providence Hall?’
‘No, Momma.’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes, Momma.’ Wheeee, I had pulled it off.
“Hummmm, how is it then that Mrs. Gabriel said she saw you and commented on how much you had grown?”
My little heart began to sink. “I saw her out in the yard when I walked by.”
“But she lives on the third floor and she said you went into her apartment. The reason I didn’t want you to go into the building is because they’ve had chicken pox there.”
By now it was obvious the jig was up. The worse part was that Mom said if I had told the truth, my punishment wouldn’t have been as bad as it was going to be. Mrs. Gabriel had called about another issue and in the conversation, mentioned our visit.
“O Momma, why didn’t you tell me you already knew, then I wouldn’t have lied!’
And so goes a child’s reasoning, at least this childs. My sins always found me out but it took me an amazingly long time to catch on that it wasn’t worth it.