Do you remember that you felt like an adult, that you were given the responsibility of an adult, that you were allowed to do your parents’ special project for the first time? I had one of those experiences and it was a wonderful feeling to be treated like an adult. I was a serious kid and I tried to do my best at all ages. But some things can’t be rushed, like skipping childhood quickly to become an adult.
It was Christmas Eve and I was quite young and my parents had always encouraged me to do adult things. This year was one of those moments. They told me that I could take care of filling the Christmas stockings with goodies and then hanging them on the mantelpiece. I was in seventh heaven. Imagine that. Me, doing such an adult thing.
When my parents went to bed, I gathered all the things that were designated to go in the socks. I looked around and couldn’t find socks sturdy enough to hang on a mantel with candy and gifts. Then I saw my father’s new black silk knee socks and proceeded to fill them.
I put them on the table and started stuffing treats into them, but then I realized that all the treats in our county couldn’t fill those socks. Note that in those days, there were no commercial Christmas socks made from felt and sewn together for strength, so we used our own socks.
Since no one knew I was going to wear my father’s silk knee socks, no one told me that they stretch very easily. So there I sat at the table with these socks spread out, shoving things into them.
The problem with that is that silk knee-high socks stretch out as they fill up. Frustrated at not having enough gifts to go from the socks of the socks to the top, I grabbed some oranges and stuffed them into the bottom of the socks and then put the little gifts on top and hung them on the mantelpiece.
The next morning when we all went downstairs to wish each other a Merry Christmas and open our presents, my father was more surprised than pleased to see his new knee-high silk socks crawling across the floor, so stretched out that each sock could fit two or three legs.
My wonderful feeling of being treated like an adult didn’t last long. After that experience, I was treated like a child again for the next several years.