I’m doing time this weekend. Time in the minivan that is. (I’ll spare you the obvious parallels). We are taking a truly God-provided family vacation next week which requires a four hour drive to get there. “Four hours, big deal,” I hear you saying. But did I mention that my boys are very typical seven and six year olds who don’t sit still for four minutes, let alone four hours. One of them does school standing up, and eats dinner with one knee in his chair and the other leg standing. They also have this thing about touching each other. I never dreamed (or read about in parenting books) how many times I would repeat the phrase, “stop touching your brother,” along with its synonym phrases, “stop hitting, stop tackling…in the bathroom, stop hugging your brother – he can’t breathe!” I’ll leave to your imagination what four hours with only a booster and seat belt to separate them could look like.
Enough whining. I have to say that the mini van, even with its built in propensity for sanctification, is a place where family memories are made.
Here are a few mini-van moments:
moment #1 There was the time I saw in the rear view mirror my son picking his nose and corrected him. Two minutes later, after deep thoughts, he said, “Mom, did God see me picking my nose and tell you to tell me to stop?” If I were smarter I would have said “Yes, God tells mommy everything you’re doing behind my back.”
moment #2 Then there was the time I thought it would be good to have a discussion about what Daddy did for a living (my husband was going to be ordained as a pastor that Sunday). The conversation went something like this:
Me: “What do you think daddy does when he goes to work?”
boys: he’s a fireman! No, he’s a builder who builds things! I know, Daddy is police guy!
Me: (a little apprehensive, but hopeful) Well, daddy helps people like those guys, but –
boys: I knew it, He’s a superhero!
Me: (as enthusiastically as possible) Daddy’s a pastor!!!
boys: (quiet for a minute) What’s that?
Me: (brief explanation of Jason’s role)
boys: (clearly unimpressed)
As a side note, however, I will say that because of their daddy’s hero-status, as they have grown older, all of my boys have said at one time or another that they want to be a pastor when they grow up…along with being profession football players.
Moment #3: In contrast to the conversation discussing Jason’s job, I recall a mini moment when they were discussing what they wanted to be. The conversation included military careers, professional sports, carpentry, fire fighter, police officer, and any other exciting, action packed jobs you can imagine five and six year olds aspiring to. I was curious what my two year old daughter would say so I asked, “Maggie, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
She answered, “a mommy,”
Caleb (one of my twins) immediately said, “Whoa, no way…THAT is a really hard job.” (a comment which did not follow any previous job titles. From the mouths of babes…)
Other moments from the minivan include one of my sons always wanting to pray when we see an ambulance en route. Or, times when I hear my daughter singing at the top of her lungs, “Oh what a dorious history I know” (instead of oh what a glorious mystery You are). Or the numerous times I have had to ask their forgiveness (always readily given) on my way to church because of anger and impatience getting them out the door.
When I look in the rear view mirror I am amazed how the four faces have changed. They have gone from chubby, fuzzy-headed babies in car seats to skinny, scruffy-haired kids. I will blink and one of them will be driving me. In my metaphoric mini-van, I want to enjoy every minute of the ride. God help me to love everything entailed in the rear view mirror image.
I can’t wait for tomorrow’s drive.