Of course, my mom was furious. I mean she was livid - even though we insisted we didn't know how the fixture just happened to fall out of the ceiling. "Must have been one of those rare Southeast Texas tremors."
For some strange reason, our mother let it go. I recall thinking, "Whew, we got away with that one." That's been more than three decades ago and ever since I became a parent, I've sensed I didn't get away with anything after all.
Perhaps my mom knew even back then that I would someday have children of my own and, well, you know what they say about payback. The boys don't know this, but they've often been saved by recollections of my very own childhood mischief. My dear mom certainly won't let me forget, although we still haven't confessed to the foyer incident. Yet, she's good at reminding me of some of my other "minor" indiscretions when I'm howling about her grand boys and their waywardness - how they broke this or that or deconstructed some electronic gadget or another or punched a hole in the wall through rough and tumble. It's frustrating.
Yet, I've gotta give it to my rascals - they usually don't lie, preferring to call their mishaps "accidents" - pleaded as innocently as they can manage. This doesn't always work. But, often, I do let it ride after thinking back on my indoor ball bouncing days and the ensuing lie, remembering that unintentional things do happen. Just like I did as a child, I'm sure they think they're getting off easy. As the mama, I'm thinking, "Huh - payback ain't no joke. You just wait!"