Saturday 2 April 2022

Frozen Lemons

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade or freeze them and throw them at the people that are making your life difficult”
- Unknown

Blessed children skip along scattering sunshine and petals wherever they go, delighting to bless each life they touch for good.

Other children have never heard of such a thing. Being occupied with weightier matters, they receive their parents' duty and love as a matter of course, and get on with their own obsessive labours while the day yet remains.

My brother and I had mastered all of the necessary arts for young children and made it our labour to engage these daily for our enjoyment and delight. 

We knew the secrets of overlapping lego brings to bring strength to a wall. 

We could put a water pistol to hours of judicious use until the inevitable blister on our trigger finger burst and ripped open, but we could also use a knife to split open a water pistol to extract the pump mechanism to serve as the essential core of a fire engine yet to be built.

We knew the secrets of a beach ball, both to inflate it and deflate it, despite the anti-deflation mechanism.

We could slide down the stairs in our sleeping bags without injury but we could also climb up the green and yellow "beanstalk" blanket which hung from the balustrade above the bottom of the stairs. 

Life was worth living, and we lived it with rarely a thought for those who made it so worthwhile.

One long summer day ended too soon. I don't know if we had been sent to bed early, but if so, we probably deserved it. We might have accepted this, but it wasn't dark, and one of us saw a water pistol. 

Now one brother will not be left unarmed in a water fight, and will use all his ingenuity to overcome the lack of a second water pistol. And there never was, nor ever will be a water fight that did not escalate beyond all reason.

The water pistol had not been put to very much use before the soap dish was involved as both a carrier and dispenser of water.  As an efficiency improvement in the art war it is only a minor footnote, and interesting only in relation to the subsequent escalation of which it was the direct cause: the inflatable beach ball.

Your imagination is only faulty in one respect. The inflatable beach ball was not entirely inflated with water.

The inflatable beach ball is a dispenser of water to exceed all in those days before the pump-action super-soaker, but one could suffer a lot of hits in the time it takes to fill. To be well used it doesn't need to hold that much more than the water pistol. And if not fully filled it may also serve as a sort of bowl to hold more water.

This was peak escalation - and there were two beach balls.

From the child's point of view, we were having unpermitted quantities of fun, but the parent would think: "What are they doing up there? They are supposed to be going to sleep!"

Despite all these details being true, I'm not aware that any of the bedding actually got wet.

Our mother, on the other hand, observed that it all needed hanging out on the washing line to dry, and as there was no other bedding to hand we would have to go and play outside in our pyjamas and bare feet! 

See how we like that!

We liked that. 

We rode around the "lawn" on our tricycles in our pyjamas and bare feet, our fun a form of defiance at our supposed punishment.

What to do when your lemons are returned to you, frozen? 
If it's summer, make lovely chilled lemonade.

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