CRASH! The harsh sound of glass breaking into a million pieces stunned the chattering holiday shoppers into shocked silence for a moment. Even the annoying holiday music piped through the store seemed to have lost its edge for that split second.
In the midst of the broken pieces sparkling like tiny diamonds, stood a little girl, fear, guilt and horror written all over her face. Her mother stood beside her, a glow of disbelief and then anger, slowly suffusing her face. All the nearby shoppers stood staring at this tableau. The ones with kids no doubt silently shooting up thankful prayers that it wasn't theirs. The ones without kids glad at that particular moment to have had the good sense to not have any.
Then, the scene unfroze. The chattering of the shoppers started again, slowly but surely. The holiday music began to grate once more. One of the store assistants approached the mother- daughter pair. The sound of broken glass being swept away mingled with the general din. Everything was back to normal.
And I realized all over again how difficult it is to be a kid at times. Anyone could have broken the decorative glass piece. But only kids get the, "How can you be so careless?", "How many times have I told you not to touch anything?", "Do you realize how expensive this is?", "That’s it, no more TV for you for a week". When adults do it, mostly it is just, "That was an accident - it could have happened to anyone."
Wonder why rosy nostalgia about childhood often conveniently forgets these glitches!