Was it okay for Jim and Jerry to be in bed with my wife?Published 11:07pm Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Jim and his brother Jerry are younger than my wife by four years and two years, respectively.
Curiously, when I learned that both of the brothers had been in bed with my wife, it was amusing, but not too disturbing.
The Jackson and Howard families had been close friends for several years.
Jeremy Jackson and Harvey Howard were bosom buddies while they were in college.
After each married, they both established their homes in a small town in Wisconsin.
It was a natural flow for their relationship to continue as they partied together, shared garden produce and attended the same church.
Jeremy’s wife Alice helped Harvey’s wife with canning of fruit and vegetables.
Harvey’s wife Sarah helped Alice develop her sewing skills.
With the passing of the years, Jeremy and Alice had three children, a girl and two boys.
Harvey and Sarah had two children, a boy and a girl. The children often played together.
The family relationships were so constant and close that one of Alice’s boys asked, “Mom, what relationship are we to the Howards?” And mother Alice replied, “Friends.”
Jeremy took employment as a sales representative for medical equipment and moved his family closer to corporate headquarters, an hour’s drive away.
His first-born child was a daughter who had been born with a medical condition called patent ductus.
There was an abnormal hole or opening between two of the chambers of her heart.
As a result, the child’s blood did not carry sufficient oxygen to the body. Her lips were often blue.
She could not play and exercise as a normal child would.
The only remedy was open-heart surgery to close the hole.
When she was 13 years of age she underwent the corrective surgery.
Her recovery from the surgery seemed to be progressing well when suddenly she hemorrhaged and died the same day.
Her younger brothers, Jim and Jerry, were devastated.
They missed their older sister greatly. Many nights they cried themselves to sleep. The two boys also missed their former playmates of the Howard family.
Harvey Howard phoned ahead and then bundled his family into their Chevrolet and drove over to spend Memorial Day with the Jacksons.
When their visiting stretched into the evening, Jeremy and Alice suggested that the Howards spend the night at the Jackson house.
The Howards had not brought with them their night clothes but readily agreed to the stay-over arrangement.
The Howard’s 11 year-old daughter Dottie was assigned the top bunk in the childrens’ room and Alice loaned her a night gown.
The following morning, Dottie was sitting up in bed with her back to the wall.
The bedroom door was open when 9-year-old Jim and 7-year-old Jerry rushed in to continue their visiting.
The two boys unabashedly stuck their feet under the covers, one on each side of 11-year-old Dottie, and snuggled up close.
At home, Dottie wore pajamas to bed at night.
Alice’s over-sized night gown did not even fit very well and Dottie felt distinctly uncomfortable with one of those two friendly boys on each side of her.
Mother Alice came into the open door and took note of the consternation on Dottie’s face.
The two boys were sent packing and the room door closed so that Dottie could get dressed for the day.
Every family with children may be challenged with educating those children about the restraints of modesty which come with their developing maturity.
The information age has upped the ante.
Children are much too well informed now at too early an age compared to the times of Dottie’s childhood and mine.
I am amused, but not disturbed, about the behavior of Jim and Jerry, those two lonesome little boys.
They adopted Dottie as their sister and have remained her lifelong friends.