One thing that absolutely amazed me when I was a little girl was adults who hated kids.
How could you dislike children when you had once been a child? Well, I knew someone who, as a child, berated adults who didn’t like kids—and then turned into one herself. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to ask someone what had caused this transformation.
It turned out she didn’t remember despising such adults. In fact, she remembered next to nothing about her own childhood. Almost everything was a blank until her teenage years.
I actually know more about her younger years than she does.
Is forgetfulness what causes us to become what we once scorned?
Take, for example, the lady who lived next door to my cousins when they were kids. This woman (we’ll call her Mrs. Grump) spent her days sitting on a stool behind her front window, glaring at the neighbors through a slit between the curtains. To say she didn’t like the five kids living next door was an understatement. She once turned the hose on one of my cousins for the crime of singing the Astro Boy theme song on his front lawn.
This is not a way to endear yourself to your neighbors, especially to kids. Did she really think she would subdue them into silence? If she had remembered anything about being a child herself, she would have realized retribution would be swift in coming. Sure enough, next thing she knew she was subjected to all of them singing at the top of their lungs:
Mrs. Grump’s a friend of mine,
She resembles Frankenstein.
When she does the Irish jig,
She resembles Porky Pig!
This only produced more glaring and nastiness on Mrs. Grump’s part. All that is not difficult to imagine. But what’s difficult to imagine is Mrs. Grump, back when she had been a little girl, pointing at the grouch behind that window and proclaiming, “I want to grow up to be just like her!”
In Matthew 18:3, Jesus tells us “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Now, I’m sure He didn’t mean standing on the front lawn and singing a nasty little ditty about the woman next door. No, he means accepting our Heavenly Father the way a child does, with love, trust, and respect.
But I’m unsure how you can become like a little child if you don’t like little children.
So, whatever happened to Mrs. Grump? Well, in one of those rare ironic twists that fate sometimes bestows, one day she fell off that stool behind the window, broke her neck, and died.
If it’s true that those who live by the sword die by the sword, I guess it can also be true that those who live by sitting on stools and glaring at the neighbors can also die from sitting on stools and glaring at the neighbors.