My Best Spla-nation

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

A seven-year-old explains the best she can.

A day out shopping with the whole family entailed an easy lesson on how not to explain anything.  My mother and father, my Aunt Gussy, my Grandmother, my sister, and me.  Grandmother had announced to the group that we had one rooster among us so we must be kind to him.Four adult females and two little girls were a bit much all at one time.  I wanted to know why Daddy being a rooster made him the one in charge?  I got a wink and a giggle from each hen.  I was convinced when he dangled the car keys at me.  I had decided not to mention that at least two of the hens could also drive.
We were entering a large department store.  There was an escalator that led to the second floor.  One by one the hens got on.  The electronic stairs started disappearing as we approached the second landing.  Grandmother's shoe got caught.  Grandmother went down.  She let out a little squeal.  Then as if it started the chain reaction all the way through our hen parade.  Daddy, I should have mentioned before now, is deaf.  He wears a hearing aid but when the hens are chatting he usually turns it down.  Daddy is still walking and is unaware that the entire group has stopped and was trying to get Grandmother back on her feet.  Everyone seemed to have their idea of what to do, yet no one was listening.
The reason for this shopping trip had started the day before when two of my cousins had come to the house with two huge jars of marbles.  The two little boys were playing with the marbles in the drive.  One of them had slipped on their own marbles.  The guys in the white coats came and took them away.  While everyone was taking care of the boys, I gathered up the marbles and put them in smaller jars under my bed.  When asked about the "jars", I was able to return them unbroken.  No one asked about what happened to the marbles.  There had been a big discussion about each of them losing their marbles.  There was a big discussion about the water being half full in a glass as well.  Sometimes grown-ups do not make sense at all.  They were all happy the boys were okay.  The family secret that we had all lost our marbles was safe.  If we ever got thirsty, somewhere there was half a glass of water waiting for us.  The entire group had decided to go shopping to replace the marbles.  It would make the boys feel better.
So, here we are.  Shopping for marbles.The store manager has been called to the scene.  The escalator has been turned off.  The manager insists on waiting until the proper medical people be called in to help Grandmother get up off the floor.  While she is down there she is answering questions for the store manager's accident report.
Each question after another was answered.  "Name, address, how long had she lived there, any mental disorders in the family... then the big one.  How old are you?"
  Gasps went throughout the group.  "That is a question that no one asks a Southern Lady.  It is just unheard of.  Besides, I just don't know.  Gussy had a ballpark answer.  Mother said she would ... Grandmother stopped her immediately as if she had become a traitor.  "You will not tell anything... he can see I am over twenty-one.  By this time Daddy has made it all the way to the toy department, purchased two large jars of marbles, and headed back.
He spots the crowd at the top landing.  "What are you doing down there, Mother? Get up off the floor."  He reaches down and gently takes grandmother by the elbow and allows her to grasp his shoulder as he pulls her up.  "Why were you down there?"
"Because this man would not let me up until I told him my age."  She winked at me and the man's face lit up as he grasped for words.  Daddy, gently held onto Grandmother, as he guided the other hens away from the scene.  The store manager followed us trying to explain he needed to know all sorts of things for his report.  He was so desperate that he was actually shouting as we neared the front doors of the store.
I stopped.  I put both my hands up and waved them at the man.  I shouted back.  "Can't you understand?  This is about our secret.  We have lost our marbles and before the guys with the white coats come, we had to get more.  Please, it is a secret.  But don't worry.  I keep a supply under my bed."
The man stopped.  He looked at me.  I am all seven years old.  I told him I was seven.  If he needed an "age" for his report.  It was my spla-nation.  "That will do."  I watched as he wrote down, "Age, seven."
I glanced back in the store window as we all got in the car.  The man was still scratching his head.  I had to giggle.  "What are you laughing about, Sweetie?"
"The man still needed an "age" for his spla-nation report.  I told him I was seven and we had all lost our marbles."
All the grown-ups laughed.  "Good job, little one."  We were also very proud of our rooster.  He could not hear the man telling him anything.  All he could see was what needed to be done and he did it.

Submitted: October 11, 2021

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