At age two, Kathryn was the sweetest, prettiest, child who ever blessed this earth with her presence. She had long, blonde, curly, hair and the biggest, bluest eyes you could ever hope to see.
One beautiful, fall, Sunday morning we got up early and got ready for church. I'll never forget how cute she looked that day. She had on an adorable, purple and white striped dress with a little white sweater to keep off the chill of the crisp, cold, October day. She had on white patent-leather shoes with ruffled anklets. As we got out of the car in the church parking lot, I bent down to straighten up her bow and remember thinking how lucky I was to have such a beautiful, angel for a daughter.
We stopped to greet some visitors and I noticed that they had a little boy who seemed about the same age as Kathryn. As we walked up the side walk Kathryn veered off the sidewalk, just for a moment to leave footprints on the frost covered, lawn. After we got into the vestibule I noticed that Kathryn was leaving a little trail of grass clippings all down the shiny waxed hallway. She ran into her room and greeted her friends with hugs and squeals of delight. To my horror I noticed her stick out her tongue at the little boy from the parking lot. I squeezed her hand and gave her "'the eye" and reached down to give her a kiss. She jerked away and wouldn't even wave good bye. I didn't dream that things could get worse but Kathryn has always been full of surprises.
I came back to the room to get her after Sunday School and entered the room just in time to see my "little angel" knock the little visitor on his back, and before I could reach her she was sitting astraddle his little chest pounding him with both fists. I grabbed her up and remember wondering, as I ran from the church, if Presbyterians perform exorcisms.
As we drove home I swear I heard her singing "Jesus Loves Me from the back seat. I looked in the rear-view mirror to say, "You wanna bet?" and I thought I saw a glint of horns rising from her mussed-up hair. I realized I didn't know who that child was sitting in Kathryn's car seat. Her hair was pulled out of her barrettes and was waving around her face like the snakes of Medusa. Her ribbon was untied and hanging down one side of her head. Her dress was wrinkled with tell-tale spots of red Kool-Aid staining the front. Her nice white shoes were stained with green from the grass. I don't know who that child was, but she comes back to visit us at times, but thank heaven or (hades) she doesn't visit often.
Jay Jameson (C) 1995