We talked earlier this week about how our title as 'children' was bestowed on us by Beverly. She and the other Mavens might have referred to us often by that title, but never did they make us feel like we were actually children. They've always treated us like competent, dependable, intelligent women...probably because we are. Don't get me wrong, we adore our title and wear the label with pride.
But there was that one time where I had flashbacks of my teenage years...
The Playfriends had recently taken positions on the HOD board - headed by Beverly as our new president. She invited us all to her home for an extended board meeting so that we could plan and begin our terms feeling confident in the responsibilities we were taking on. As the consummate hostess, she invited us all to spend the night.
As soon as we walked into her home, Beverly made us feel immediately welcome. We sat around talking for quite some time, but finally it was time to head upstairs and go to bed. I was on a root beer kick and had brought a bottle with me so that I could have something to drink. As normally happens, despite the fact that our intentions were to go immediately to sleep, the Playfriends ended up talking. And laughing. We could hear Beverly rummaging around downstairs in the kitchen getting things ready for the amazing breakfast she would serve us the next morning. Honestly, it reminded me of nights spent over at my best friend's house growing up.
To this day I'm a little fuzzy on what exactly happened - despite the fact that it was entirely my fault. I have a feeling I was laughing and trying to do two things at once. Never a good idea. There was a little sink and a tiny refrigerator involved. Maybe I was getting ice? Either way, I ended up knocking a decorative plate into the sink, making a racket, and spilling root beer all over Beverly's snow white carpet.
From down below we hear, "Girls, what happened?" And unanimously, I swear as if practiced, all five of us responded, "Nothing," in that singsong little girl voice we used try and pull one over on our parents. I have a feeling Beverly did not fall for the trick. As soon as we said it all of us looked at each other and died laughing again which probably reinforced Beverly's impression that we were up to no good.
It didn't take me long to realize that I had to go down and ask Beverly for something to clean her carpet with. I might have been acting like a child but I wasn't one. With butterflies in my stomach, I crept down the stairs just the way I'm sure I did when I was eight and had to confess that I'd done something naughty. I came clean, assured her nothing had broken (I think this was probably her worst fear) and then asked if she had carpet cleaner. I might have been close to tears, I'm not sure, but I think it's probably likely. Beverly was so gracious. She immediately assured me I was not the first person to spill something on that perfect white carpet. She exclaimed, "I have grandsons!" as if that answered everything. She smiled at me, making me feel better than I probably had a right to.
I carried the supplies back upstairs and cleaned up the mess I'd made. And I never forgot the way she reacted. I'm certain she had visions of losing something that was important to her. But she didn't yell. She didn't get upset. In fact, she went out of her way to make me feel better which considering the circumstances was more than I deserved. Ultimately, she set a perfect example for how I want to handle these kinds of incidences with my own children.
That night, for about five minutes, I might have actually felt like a child, but that's not how it ended. Yes, I will never live down that moment. But I'm okay with that. Beverly was so gracious. I hope that one day I can be just like her. And that memory helps me remember the standard I need to live up to.
Me, Beverly & Smarty Pants at our local meeting