For Christmas my oldest daughter, Aubrey, was given a collection of classic books that had been revised for her reading level. She tore through “Little Women” and learned several new words while reading “Anne of Green Gables.” I didn’t even realize she’d read “Huckleberry Finn,” until dinner last night.
All three of my daughters sat side by side at the bar in our kitchen, happily eating pancakes and bacon when Aubrey said, “You know… I realized something reading Huckleberry Finn…”
I raised my eyebrows as she continued.
“Huckleberry Finn and Emma are sort of the same type of character,” she said, referring to her five-year-old sister. I tried not to giggle. Emma is the most mischievous of my children. I knew exactly what Aubrey meant but I wanted to see where she was going with this.
“How do you mean?” I asked innocently.
Emma crunched her bacon, flipped her hair out of her eyes and listened intently.
“Wellllll, they both have a lot of adventures and they like to tell lies…”
I reflected for a moment to the four laundry baskets worth of Emma’s folded clothes I had recently discovered shoved under every piece of furniture in their shared bedroom and all the empty laundry baskets that had been presented to me with a smile. In all fairness to Emma, she’s not mean spirited or devious, just a little creative but once you’ve given her specific instructions she’ll obey you to the letter. She’s now given a full laundry basket and instead of saying, “Put this away.” I say, “Put these where they BELONG. In your drawers and in the closet, understood?”
But regardless, calling Emma a liar seemed a bit harsh so I opened my mouth to defend her, “I don’t know if that’s a very nice thing to say about your sister…” I began as Emma thoughtfully tucked her hair behind her ear and nodded.
“Well…. Yeeeeaaahhh.” She agreed.
My husband threw in his two cents, “But Aubrey, Huck lied to protect the fella he ran away with remember? What was his name?”
“Oh, yeah! Jim! That’s right! Huck was trying to help him. Emma just lies because she likes it.”
I made eye contact with Emma, who shrugged, giggled a little, then swiped a pancake off her sister’s plate.