My cousins and I had so much fun when we were young. We always looked forward to the family gatherings and loved every minute of them, exploring and taking advantage of my grandmother’s awesome house. One of our main ways of occupying ourselves was to write and perform plays for the whole family. So, we’d hole ourselves into some little corner of the house, usually the basement, and yell at any adult who happened to come anywhere near our secret meetings. The adults loved this; we were keeping ourselves occupied and they didn’t have to do anything! Most of our plays were about a family called “The Klutz’s,” and we even made our own theme song! And had commercials! And reoccurring themes! You couldn’t find a better production on Broadway.

But we had another form of entertainment that was less appealing to the adults. We used to hoard up all the cushions from this old hideous couch, fasten them to jump ropes, and gather them at the top of the 2nd floor stairs. Then one of us, a different cousin every time, would go down to the adults and beg one of them to come upstairs, using ginormous cute eyes and a winning smile, while the rest of us could barely contain our anxious waiting, biting our nails and giggling at the thought of our imminent prank.

We wouldn’t tell them why they had to come upstairs, just that someone had to come up straight away.

Oblivious, or so we thought, an adult, usually my uncle mark, a very calm and amiable fellow, would blindly follow us up the stairs, and get pelted with couch cushions. The lot of us pacifist, Mennonite children hurled these cushions down upon the unsuspecting victim with surprising ferocity.

We all would proceed to bust out laughing, because we had fooled the silly adults. Then we’d set up and proceed to do the exact same thing multiple times.

Apparently, contrary to our beliefs, the adults did suspect that we were up to something every time we came down the stairs and asked for an adult’s assistance. And they would argue amongst themselves about who would have to go and face the onslaught of pillows the next time. But we, the cousins, always thought that it was a complete surprise, and were delighted in our clever plotting. This activity went on for several Christmases, and never lost it’s appeal.

Um. This story doesn’t have a punch line, except that it shows that my cousins and I were gullible and conniving. So here’s a picture of little Emily dressed up as what she wanted to be when she grew up- a ballerina princess…

SIDENOTE: You know it’s sad when every time you try to type ballerina, you try to spell the Spanish version- bailarina. Sigh.

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