It seems that summer holidays are not just about skipping town and ignoring your blog for weeks at a time. Its about learning a lesson or two … and from your son no less.
There we were in a brand new park joyfully racing through all the new playground equipment when my four year old spotted a climbing wall. Seeing that a grown-up friend was over there already we let him run off to it (just try to keep a four year old from climbing!). No sooner had we turned our backs to the other child at hand when there was a terrified scream, and inconsolable racking sobs from the climbing wall.
In an instant the parental instincts kick in and you go into triage mode. What body part is he holding or favouring? Can he walk? Is there dirt … blood? Are we talking a fall, scrape, twist, pinch?
No. he’s holding his face – right where he got stung. Well, one of the two places he got stung. It seems that wasps had recently made a nest in the top of the climbing wall and they were not impressed with strange young men calling at their door.
After a few minutes of calm and reassuring talk and waiting to see what kind of physical reaction he might have to the bite this gem of a human being turned the tables and teaches his dad a lesson.
“Are you going to be OK?” I ask him as he is still sitting on the bench.
“Yes” he says.
“That wasn’t too much fun, was it?” I respond.
“No, it wasn’t fun, but it was a good lesson to learn.” he says matter-of-factly. “Now I know what wasps look like and how much it hurts when they bite you. It wasn’t fun to learn but it is a good thing to know.”
What can you do but sit there for a while and ponder the depth of wisdom that God gives where you least expect it (though you should by now!) What can you do but begin to put some of your own fears and hurts and traumas into this same perspective … rarely fun but it almost always a good lesson to learn. What would life look like if I could learn to look at things the way this young man does? How different might my opinion of life and struggles and the role of God in it all become?
“You know what else would be good dad?”
“Inventing a gun that only kills wasps.”