I’ve meet some sparklers in my time; unassumers who are quiet until they’re lit, and then they ignite.
One of my favorite sparklers of all time was my Mom, Marie. It took a little coaxing to light her up because she tended toward demure by the time my two bothers and I were born. But she was coaxable. My two brothers and I brought it out in her.
When we did something wrong, which was most days, she would put one hand on her hip and get her other hand all set to shake a finger at us. This looked pretty funny since she was little. It was tough to take her threat seriously, especially when she issued statements like, “So, no one dried their dirty hands on my clean towels? Well, of course! I guess the man who did it died.”
I think we made mischief partly to hear what she would say. I think she allowed our mischief partly because there was very little time for her own.