don’t know what you got (’til it’s gone)

jack?! don’t say that. that’s not ok.

those were the words i heard my wife say to my son (almost a year ago)…as we were getting ready to leave my wife’s sister’s house…

we had been over at their place celebrating several cousins’ birthdays (including our own kids) and spending some time together as families, when those words floated up from the basement stairs…

when i approached my wife at the top of the stairs, with an eyebrow raised and a look of like–what did he say?  

she said, i’ll tell you in a minute, let’s just get moving.

well, “a minute” turned into a half-hour and eventually we said “our goodbyes” and packed the kids and all their stuff into the van.  in the driveway, while the kids were tucked securely away in the vehicle, i asked my wife–what did he say?

she turned to me and said, he said that ‘he didn’t want to leave and that he wished he lived here–because their house was so much better than our house.’

there was a moment of silence.

then, i said–really? ok, i’ve got this.

[i said that because i could see that she was at her wit’s end and done with the challenging behaviors that had ‘run her ragged’–i said that, because it was time for me to “tag in”]

then, my wife got into the van and i got into my own car and we both headed home (i had come from work, so we had driven separately)…but, i left first and flew home.  en route, i thought about all the possible ways to respond/talk to my five-year-old son about what he had said and how to communicate just how important it is to be ‘thankful for where we live’ and all that we have (i mean, i had just loaded up a shit-ton of birthday gifts for him and his twin sister, people! come on?!) – but everything i came up with, initially anyways, was either inappropriate or illegal–and could’ve potentially resulted in some sort of serious negative outcome…like losing parental rights.

then, just before i got to our house, it hit me…i knew what i was going to do.

upon arriving home, i went inside and got down to business…i knew i had to move fast because my wife and kids weren’t too far behind me.

so, i went into jack and grace’s bedroom and over to jack’s side of the room — and got to work — completely stripping his bed.  i took off the pillows, the stuffed animals, the bed sheets, the mattress–everything!  as quick as i could, i jammed all of that stuff (including the mattress) into our bedroom and shut the door.  after that, i walked to the kitchen, poured myself a jack and coke, sat down at the table and waited.

well, they came home a few minutes later and were bustling about…

i said nothing.

after a few minutes, grace went down the hall to their bedroom and immediately i heard her call for jack…

jack, come here.

so, jack walked down the hall.

i heard their murmurs–as they were talking about ‘what was going on with jack’s bed?!’ and ‘what had happened?!’

my wife walked down there too, and walked back out to me and said, uh-oh.

i gave her wink and said, yep, why don’t we go down to their room and have a little talk with our children.

when we got to their bedroom, i told them that we wanted to have a little talk with them, but especially with jack (and that grace could listen, because she needed to hear this, too)…they looked up at us, wondering what we were going to say and what all the “fuss was about”…

this is what happened next…

me: hey, bud, can i talk to you for a minute?

jack: yeah.

me: hey, mom told me what you said at your cousin’s house-do you remember?

jack: (silence)

me: did you say something like, ‘you wished you lived in their house because their house was so much better than ours?’

jack: yeah.

me: any particular reason why you said that?

[he shrugs]

me: jack, i just want to say that, while they do have a beautiful house, it’s good to know that we have one, too, you know.  we live in a great house.  one that your grandma and grandpa lived in and loved.  one that is full of a lot of good memories.  i don’t want to hear you say things like that about where we live again, ok?  because we are thankful to have this place–and, we like where we live.

[he nods]

me: could you do me a favor? could you climb up on your bed?

jack: but, my bed is gone.

[the bed-frame was there and so were the wooden slats that held up the mattress]

me: i know, but hop up there anyway, ok?

[he climbs up on the bed-frame]

me: now, it’s going to feel a little weird, but i want you to lean back, lie down on the bed.

jack: huh?

me: yeah, just lean back.

[so he leans back on the hard, wooden slats]

me: (gently) hey, jack, how does your bed feel now?  does it feel good? like something you’d like to sleep on?

jack: (right away) no, it’s not good, it’s hard.

me: (after about 5 seconds or so) i know, why don’t you sit up now.

[he sits up right away]

me: jack, i know it didn’t feel good, but i want you to remember that feeling.  i want you to remember that feeling because that is the feeling of not having anything, the feeling of not having all the good stuff you have–here in this house–ok?  don’t forget about all the good things you have and the great house you live in, ok?

my wife: do you understand, jack?

[he nods]

me: ok, good, go ahead and get washed up for bed.

[while my wife gets him and his sister get ready for bed, i put his bed back together–reset the mattress, the sheets, the pillows the stuffed animals, etc. — after a while, they come back all ready for bed]

me: hey, jack, come back up here on your bed.  i want to ask you one more thing, ok?

[he hops up on his bed]

me: why don’t you lay down and get under the covers, ok?

[he crawls under the covers]

me: now, how does that feel?

jack: good.

me: remember the feeling without this stuff? and now, it feels good, right?

[he nods]

me: don’t ever forget this feeling either–right now–the warmth, the comfort.  it feels pretty good.  that’s the feeling of having what you have.

jack: ok.

me:  good night, son.

jack: good night, daddy.

[i give grace a good night hug & kiss and turn out their lights and leave–two steps out of their room, my wife and i “high five” in the hallway and enjoy some time together (on our own) while our children fall asleep-yay!]

now, what he said wasn’t the worst thing in the world…not even close (take it from me, i’ve heard the worst things in the world:)…and along with that, they (our relatives) do have a truly amazing house, no lie–and, he could’ve been saying that for any number of reasons–maybe because they have a foosball table, new carpet and basement, or any number of other things–and we don’t–who knows?!

but, nevertheless, it was important to us, it was the principle of it all…to help him see that he has a lot to be thankful for, we all do–and sometimes we miss the very things that are right in front of us!

the things that you only see when they’re gone.

so, with that in mind…won’t you, please, have a blessed and happy thanksgiving!

our last day with our day care provider…

yesterday, we said goodbye to one of the most important people in our lives…our day care provider…

given the impact this woman had on our lives, i am re-posting (below) a post i shared more than 3 years ago…

everything in this post is still true today…or, more true…meaning, you just need to “times” all of the good shtuff i said below by ten thousand (x 10,000) and then you’ll be close to just how much my wife and i love and appreciate her, our day care provider…

note: in the first version of this post, i didn’t give out her actual name–for privacy reasons–but i’m gonna do that now…because if you’re out there (in the twin cities)–looking for a place for your kids–look no further, sign up today!!!

thank you, stefanie berge/sharon (owner/operator of tender heart childcare) you’re the best around!

to see what i’m talking about, please keep reading…

before i was a teacher, i worked with kids in many different settings…coming through a gauntlet of years in youth work & (now) teaching, it takes a lot to impress and inspire me in this field…

but, i have been truly impressed and inspired over the past 3+ years…

with our in-home day care provider…

and yes, i said in-home daycare provider!  …in-home daycare programs are often regarded as marginal, “fly-by-night” operations that may be alright in an emergency….but not as a “serious long-term consideration”…because people think that “they’re just not as good as centers” or a mom/dad staying home with their children…nor are they viewed as “safe places”–you get the feeling that this is one of the most horrific decisions you can make for your children–tantamount to sending a kid cross-country on an orphan train (esp. from my parent’s generation) …like your kids will end up abducted, abused, neglected, abandoned, in the emergency room, dead in the street and on the nightly news if you leave them there!!!  i heard the world saying, please report to the shame corner and turn in your parent card, now!

…this is not the case with our person, sharon–yes, her name has been changed to protect the innocent–or in the many cases of parents who use amazing in-home daycare providers each and every day…anyways, my wife did the first drop-n-go routine, through a river of tears (mind you, this is a person who cries over  the voice🙂 and i did the job three days later…and this is what happened…

i entered the house, took off my shoes, and proceeded downstairs to find my children…i was excited to see them…arriving downstairs, i made eye-contact with my son and daughter…they recognized me and smiled…but, they weren’t that excited to see me…they stayed where they were–by the side (son) and in the arms (daughter) of sharon…i thought, what the hell is this?!  i’ve been your father for nine months–you think that was a piece of cake–i was there when you were colicky, when you wouldn’t sleep, when you had that “projectile shit”–the rapid fire, .50 caliber shtuff that ‘took out’ the nursery room door–and this is how you repay me…how dare you?!  i mean, i had envisioned my children running from sharon, bounding towards me–their father–with outstretched arms (press play on can’t hold back by survivor)…but, it didn’t happen…so, i made funny faces, talked to them, waved for them to come to me…but still, they stayed with sharon…so, i hiked back upstairs, put my shoes on, went out to the van and grabbed the wonder bar…so-to-pry my children off of their in-home daycare provider!

…since those early days, we’ve seen and heard all about the amazing things they’ve learned from sharon…sign language, “how to wear a helmet with style”, music, how to pronounce their “t’s”, please and thank-you’s, “how to help”, potty training–you name it…she is unbelievable …so, let me just take this moment to say…thank you, thank you, thank you, sharon…for teaching our kids, for loving our kids like that…i am impressed and inspired…you’re the “+1” to my wife and i, you’re the best around…

i swear

i have a language problem, and anyone who knows me knows it’s true–it’s no secret…it’s been something i’ve been trying to work on since we’ve had children–and there was one day, in the not too distance past, when i knew–things had to change…here’s that story…

it was a day after many long weeks–we had sold our house and just moved into a new house–and at the same time that we were dealing with that major life transition, my wife and i were trying to keep up with our kids and our jobs…anyways, one day after work, i picked up our kids from daycare and headed home–they were tired from all of it, too…and it showed in their behaviors, as they were crabby with each other and with me for the whole ride home…

[author’s note: when we got home my kids were demanding snacks and juice and having to go to the bathroom and 100 other things…meanwhile, i was running through a mental checklist in my brain of what we had in the liquor cabinet, because daddy was going to need some “juice”, too!  🙂 ]

so, here’s what went down on that fateful day in october…

jack: daddy, i have to go poopy.

me: go ahead and head into the bathroom, i’ll be in there in a minute.

he goes into the bathroom and gets to work and i get grace some juice and a snack…

jack (after a few minutes): daddy, i’m done!

daddy (walking towards the bathroom): o.k., i’m coming. 

jack: can you wipe me?

daddy: yep.

i say this as i turn towards the toilet paper holder…unfortunately, i don’t see any toilet paper on the holder…i look to the basket where “backup paper” is kept and it’s empty, too…then, i hear my son’s voice again…

jack: can you wipe me, daddy?

me: yes, jack.

then, i hear my daughter crying for more snack from the other room…and i shout to her…

me: in a minute, gracie.

feverishly, i start going through the cabinets, looking for the almighty tp…it’s not looking good, i can’t find any…and i hear jack again…

jack (impatiently): daddy, i need to be wiped.

daddy (more impatiently): i know.

frustration is mounting on all sides when i go to the last cabinet…no dice…no toilet paper in there either…and that’s when i say it, that’s when i swear…

me: fuck!

i realize i’ve said it “out loud”, but it’s too late…because jack speaks up again, to my chagrin…and this is how it goes…

jack: fuck!

[then again]

jack: fuck! fuck! fuck! fuck! fuck!

[then]

me: no! no! no! no! no!

eventually, i locate some tp in our bathroom and use it on him and get them their snacks and juice…and eventually, everything settles down…

but, deep down, i know that parent fail #76 just happened…

in the months that followed, i tried, really hard, to regulate my language…that experience was enough to startle me into some efforts for better behavior…i mean, having my son mimic me like that, like a little mockingjay–what the fuck?! 🙂

then, recently…i was startled again, when i heard my daughter say…

oh my God!

when i heard her say that, i stopped right in my tracks (again, i was making them their after day care snack) because she said it like an expletive–not in a praise to the Almighty kind of way…

here’s our exchange…

me: hey, now…we don’t say that.

gracie: oh, o.k.

me: we say, “gosh” or “golly”, right?!

gracie: o.k.

me (not really wanting to ask): where did you hear that?

jack and gracie are silent and then look at each other…then, gracie sings…

oh my God, i’m coming home.

at first, i don’t get it and am a bit confused…

me: what? wait?! from the song we play?! 

[we have an i-home where we play all kinds of music, and what i realized–in that moment–was that she was referencing a song called, “Oh my God, I’m Coming Home” by the christian musician david crowder.]

after a short conversation about the differences between singing it like the way he does and using it in everyday life as an expletive, my kids go off to play and think/say nothing of it going forward…

but, i’m still worked up about it, i’m still ticked…mostly at david crowder…mr. pop-christian musician...in my mind, i envision confronting him and throwing down…damn you, crowder, damn you!

since the most recent incident, i have mixed up the playlist…and substituted in–“Mama I’m Coming Home” by ozzy osbourne…

rock on!

🙂

parent fail – good friday

i think enough time has passed…

i think enough time has passed to tell you this story…without it being a complete and total sacrilege…

so, there we were…

getting ready to go to church on good friday…

and we find ourselves in a conversation with our kids, our four year-olds…about Jesus dying…actually about Jesus being killed…

my wife: so, today you’re going to hear about how Jesus died.

me: actually, that Jesus was killed.

our son: Jesus died? Jesus was killed?

me: yes.

our son: who killed him?

me: some people who were not very nice.

our son: were they bad guys? were they bad ninjas?

and that was the end of the conversation…as my wife and i looked at each other knowingly–“well, that went well”…

[and chalked up parent fail #85]

fury road (chicago)

part II – the windy city

we did laundry, re-organized the van, had the scheduled maintenance done on the van–and slept in our own beds for two nights…and less than 48 hours after our trek to utah and back…we (mom, dad, son, daughter) continued the epic road trip of our lives…this time, we headed east, towards chicago…to see my sister there (for more details on my sister–see the post titled, “my sister, chris”)…

we knew we could make it…heck we just drove several thousand miles together…we made it through that trip, successfully, in large part to ‘how the kids did’ (and with the mercy of the Lord, of course)…yes, it was intense, and yes, our son had an ear infection…but, they managed surprisingly well…way better than i thought…i think ‘they did well’ because “my wife planned well” and had (in addition to episodes of “paw patrol” and “jake”) a lot of ‘low-tech’ activities for them…reading books, coloring/activity sheets and books, white boards, cars and action figures, etc. – and we had two “blessed bags of saving grace” from my wife’s coworker and friend, kate…thank you, kate…your stuff + my wife’s stuff made it fun for the kids!

anyways, this is my first person account of the second phase of fury road:

1. 1130am – we leave the twin cities (we had planned to leave at 9am).

2. 630pm – we arrive in chicago (one of the all-time great american cities) – making extremely good time (the drive seems like a snap after the previous adventure).

3. my sister, chris, makes pizzas.  we eat, talk, and relax.

4. we “hit the hay” – and set up camp in her two room apartment.

bedtime.

bedtime.

5. meltdown #1 happens – jack “goes ape” during breakfast at the lucky platter (we see the first signs of life on the road).

6. we recover.

7. we drive down to millennium park and hangout, play and eat italian ice; it turns out to be a fun day, especially for the kids…and it is great to have some time to catch up with chris and hear how her life is going and for her to hear the same from us…we’ve never had the kids with us in chicago before…it is great to see!

millennium park.

millennium park.

(more) millennium park.

(more) millennium park.

8. nap time.

9. meltdown #2 happens – jack and grace “go ape” after nap time (we see the next signs of life on the road).

10. the travels are catching up with the kids.  they are on the ropes.  minutes from a knockout. it looks bleak.

11. my wife uses her magic powers to “rally the kids”.

12. we recover.

13. we go to dave’s italian kitchen for my sister’s birthday dinner – great food; we come home, open presents and “face-time” with my parents–who are on face time for the first time, which makes the entire call all the more entertaining.

14-18. the day is good.  we have brunch, take naps, and ride the “l-train”.  jack and grace can hardly contain themselves (it’s as if thomas himself shows up).  the train pulls to a stop in front of them and we jump aboard…we ride the train for a “whole 15 minutes” (and it is worth it…just to see the looks on their faces).

L-train

L-train

19. 830am, the next morning, my wife and i exchange a “knowing look”–translation: yeah, we’re ready to be home.

20. 835am, i give jack his antibiotics and have a flashback to the utah trip (and feel a flash of anger)…medical school is not worth it...then, i try to coach myself back…thinking…let it go, let it go

21. 836am, i can’t let it go.

22. 837am, i think to myself, i should’ve asked for some “meds”, too.

23. 838am, an ed sheeran song starts playing in my head–loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes…

24. 839am, repeat #22

25. 840am, i “dial it back in” and make 100 trips up and down 50 flights of stairs. to pack the van, i haul an amount of luggage/gear that would normally accompany a professional baseball team.

26. 9am, after a brief stop at dunkin’ donuts, we head home.

27. noon, we stop near madison, have lunch at panera with my wife’s friends.

28. on the drive back, i daydream about a novel new show for TV–amazing race–family style.

29. the idea causes me to have a minor panic attack on the road.

30. i recover.

31. i keep the idea to myself until now.

32. 530pm, home sweet home.

33. happy birthday, chris!

34. jack and grace are presented with their “road warrior” badges – way to go, kids–you’ve earned ’em!

i can’t believe that we just did all that…honestly…we made it…and, at the end of the day…upon reflection…it was insane, but it was also good–we also know that we are fortunate to have the time to do that together, as a family…to be able to be there (in person) and celebrate the people we love–first, with jamie and steve in utah…and then, with chris in chicago…it’s a gift…

daddy punched me

after starting his antibiotics, jack started feeling better pretty quickly…so, at one of the wyoming hotel stops jack wanted to ‘wrestle with daddy’…after about 15 minutes of rough-housing, pillow wars and laughs we stopped to take a break…i looked over at jack and he was grabbing ‘hold of his abdomen…

at that point he said (in a half-sad voice)…

mommy, daddy punched me.

🙂

[i had landed on him at one point, but hadn’t punched him…come on, you’re ridiculous?! one of the things we’re starting to see is “some exaggerating” and “storytelling”–it’s usually hilarious, except when they say things like this in public]

fury road

part I – the wild west

about a month ago, my wife and i were invited to the military ceremony of our brother-in-law (steve) who was being honored with a special promotion at hill air force base in utah…my wife was excited about the invite and wanted to be there for the ceremony…

so, i thought that she should fly out there and represent our family for the event…she thought that we all should go…but, not by plane (because that was too expensive)–instead, she thought the four of us (me, my wife and our 3 year-old twins) should drive out there…wouldn’t it be great if we could all be there for the ceremony, she said wistfully…

but, i was hesitant for 4 major reasons:

1. driving out there with our kids, with the age they’re at, sounded like suicide.

2. we had a timeline–we needed to be there by june 5th at 1444–and we wouldn’t be able to leave until after work on june 3rd (because we’re teachers and that was the last day of school with the kids in our classes).

3. it’s the end of the school year…and as any teacher can attest to, it’s not a time of the year when you’ve got extra energy in reserves.

4. we had already agreed to go to chicago to see my sister at about the same time as we’d be getting back from this trip…

[fyi…we live in minneapolis, people…which means we’re talking about an 18+ hour drive to get there in time]…

but, my wife really thought we should do it…

and, i gave in…tempted by the open road, propelled by my wife’s passion…

the following is a first person account of what went down, best as i can recall:

1. we leave the twin cities at 5pm on june 3rd.

life in the van

life in the van

2. we arrive at rapid city, south dakota at 230am.

3. we leave rapid city at 11am, and drive and drive and drive.

4. detour in wyoming.

5. we realize that there are only 5 roads in wyoming (and one of them is closed today).

6. the detour means we must drive north, then west, then south.

7. we drive and drive and drive (we see a lot of wyoming–almost all of it–beautiful state).

8. we arrive in layton, utah at 130am.

9. 8am, our son, jack, wakes up crying and with a fever (complaining of a sore throat).

10. 830am, jack and i go to urgent care (in utah it’s called ‘instacare’).

11. 850am, strep test done.

12. 9am, strep test = negative.

13. 915am, ears are checked–after 15 minutes of cleaning, 1 years worth of ear wax is removed from his ears–no wonder why he didn’t respond when i yelled at him ‘not to run into traffic’ 🙂

14. 920am, observation – “slightly red”.

15. 930am, diagnosis = virus.

16. 930am (continued) confirmation that…medical school could, in fact, be a waste of time and money.

17. doctor: “running another strep test” – “will let us know tomorrow”.

18. repeat #14.

19. because of the “not sure if it’s strep or not” diagnosis — the wife attends the ceremony solo.

20. let me say that again, the wife attends the ceremony solo.

21. i let out an insane laugh–from somewhere deep, deep inside.

22. the kids and i set up camp in the hotel room…i drink one (or more) jack and cokes throughout the day and keep “a close eye” on my children who happily watch the disney channel.

23-27. we have a great “next couple of days” (the nights were a little rougher)–hanging out with family and celebrating–we see ‘antelope island’, plenty of bison, have a bison burger, swim, eat, drink coffee, discuss the similarities between obi-wan and Jesus, see ‘devils slide’, wrestle john (my father-in-law), have some laughs and make some great memories–and we get the doctor to o.k. antibiotics after my son is unable to sleep for two nights–his ears were in bad shape, but his legs worked fine…he kicked me, repeatedly, in the back for two nights…now, that’s worth the trip right there...

bison!

bison!

great shot at antelope island!

great shot at antelope island!

the families at devils slide.

the families at devil’s slide.

28-32. we drive back. we take an extra day. first to casper…then, the round-about way to rapid city…the detour is still on…and since we’re pushed north we opt to take it a little further and see “longmire country” — stopping in buffalo, the city that the “longmire” books and show are based on–and we see more of wyoming–but not all 🙂 ….it is a great day on the road…not only are the antibiotics kicking in (oh, and i haven’t mentioned gracie, our daughter, in this regard because she has been a rockstar traveler–taking it all in stride)…but, buffalo is an amazing little town that sits snug on the edge of the big horn mountains…and the vista tempts the traveler to turn west along scenic highway 16 towards the tetons and yellowstone…hard as it is, we resist the pull west…and turn towards south dakota…that same day we reach mount rushmore (which is a sight of it’s own)…and jack says, of mount rushmore, ‘i liked the guy with the beard best’…and then to rapid city for the night.

the busy bee cafe as featured in 'longmire'.

the busy bee cafe as featured in ‘longmire’.

the presidents!

the presidents!

33. the next day, we cross south dakota, with a sneak peek at the badlands.

34. then, home sweet home.

35. “cheers, steve (and jamie)–way to go!”

[stay tuned for “fury road” part II – the windy city]

it happens (post script)…

potty training our twins has been like our experience (my wife’s) breastfeeding them…

it either happens or it doesn’t…

and of course, there are parents out there…you know the ones, the same one uppers who let us know just how elementary breastfeeding can be–well, they showed up again around this time…in this case, they made mention of how easy it was to potty train their kids…like it was a snap…like it was their own outstanding and hallowed abilities and skills as parents that made it possible…like God put ’em on earth just to show their kids how to ‘do their business’!

thankfully, i have a group of guys around me…who know better than that…men who have gone through their own trials and tribulations on this front (and life in general)…men who have been there for me in many ways, to strengthen and support me…and their wisdom and counsel has always been valuable for me as a father and as a man…

and they were there for me when i told them that my kids didn’t quite take to it

we were at the speakeasy (lyn 65 in richfield) sippin’ on old fashioneds when i told them that…

the kids were showing “the signs”, they were showing interest in “going potty on the potty”…so, we spent the weekend with them–having them sit on the potty and try…and try and try and try…reading books on how to go potty…and rewarded them when they did it…it was going well and we were ‘looking good’ going into the week at daycare…and they did well the first day back at day care…then, the next couple days they didn’t–they had a lot of accidents…

it didn’t take…they weren’t ready…i guess…

so, we’ve got them back in diapers…

[in my mind, i was thinking…what went wrong, what should we have done?!]

together, a few of the men responded with the same mantra (one after the other)…steve, jason and ross…

the timing has to be right, you’ll know when… 

then, ross chimed in again…

they’ll let you know when it’s time…

each of these men are fathers, each of these men have three children apiece…

so, i took their words to heart…and told my wife, too…

so, we’re taking it slow and in stride…

until it happens. 

it happens

i was standing there, outside a really fancy store in one of the most high-end/well-polished shopping centers in minnesota, when i suddenly felt the urge that ‘i had to go’…

my wife and i had just finished a really good breakfast at zumbro’s and were stopping by the galleria shopping center to pick up a gift for my mom when it hit me…that ‘old feeling’…immediately, i knew i had to ‘book it’ or it was going to get ugly…

my stomach rumbled–up, down, and around–and it almost came out…but, i tightened up the one muscle that could save me, the one muscle that’s the last line of defense before the levee breaks (press play on the led zeppelin classic of (almost) the same name)…my true friend…the sphincter muscle…and, i prayed…i need you now, like never before, my friend–mercy! 

in a guttural whisper i told my wife…

i have to go to the bathroom… 

and turned and sprinted off towards the nearest restroom, the nearest sanctuary…

my form was horrible, it could be best described as a gallop that a lame horse might make over rugged terrain…it was ‘super awkward’, people…because running and ‘clenching’ just don’t go well together, you know…i’m thinking that this is why long distance runners just ‘let it go’…anyways, i wasn’t about to let that happen, not here not now, so i was concentrating hard…my jaw was tight, my face was set in stone, and beads of sweat were forming on my forehead…

i have to make it..i think i can, i think i can, i think i can…

for i knew what could happen…the unthinkable…and folks, we’re not talking about a ‘shart’…but a ‘shet’ (shit + jet)…we’re talking a full-on geyser…the entire strength of all the hoses at the local fire department couldn’t match the force that was about to erupt from within me…

thankfully, i spotted the restroom sign ahead, i was closing in on the bathrooms…gaining ground…

i have to make it…i think i can, i think i can, i think i can…

i made it to a hallway where there were three bathrooms and rushed to door one–it was locked…i cursed under my breath and moved to the next door–it was locked, too [more cursing]…in a panic, i approached door three thinking…

this is gonna be closewhat if i don’t make it?! will the power elite that roam the hallowed halls of the galleria grant me a pardon to return or will i be banished from their realm forever?! 

please, Lord, let it be vacant! 

door three opened–i flew in and bolted it shut…

i took one step towards the toilet and it happened…

it started to come out…

i kept going forward…

and sat down on the sparkling porcelain throne and finished ‘my business’…

afterwards, i spent the next hour cleaning up the bathroom…top to bottom…in the process, i threw out my boxers and did a little laundry…thankfully, i was wearing my ‘weather proof’ rei shorts…somehow, i don’t think what happened to me was what the designers had in mind when they named ’em ‘weather proof’ – but, they held up 🙂

and so did i…

several months after this experience, we started potty training our kids…and it didn’t work out like we thought it would or thought it should…it didn’t take, you know…and our kids had some accidents at daycare…when i heard that that had happened, i wanted to run to them, to sweep them up and away…and say…

it’s o.k.

sometimes, it happens.

sometimes, accidents happen.

take it from me.

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