I pulled up my blog just a few minutes ago to compose my weekly post. I’m in bed, as are two other members of my tribe. Yes, we are a wild, wild bunch. Of course, Nate our social chairman, is at a Western-themed middle school dance. It’s pretty tempting to post the picture I snapped but I promised I would not. But theme party or otherwise, Nate typically does a fair amount of our socializing — it’s kind of a representative system we have going. And it works. I think we are a family of outgoing introverts with Nate often the most able and willing to engage the world.
But just as I was about to start typing, Sam came and climbed up next to me. We ended up reading back from years ago. I’m in my tenth year of writing on Spur so we can almost always find a little story we don’t remember. We read this cute one and this one too, but then after he tired of the exercise and returned to shooting hoops in the kitchen, I read the following. I still agree with every word. It was called “Seize Every Toilet” and was from April 2013.
This sounds like it’s going to be a post about incontinence, but I assure you it’s not. That day may be a-coming, but thankfully it has not yet arrived.
Anyway, yesterday Sam and I did drop-off for baseball. The pre-game for this league is almost as long as the game, so we had lots of time to go home. I left the field and cut through a residential neighborhood. Out on the sidewalk was the tell-tale sign that someone was renovating: right there, next to the curb, was a fully intact toilet.
I smirked as we passed by, “Sam, did you see that toilet?”
“No,” he answered, whipping his curious little head around.
Well, that was never going to do. At the next intersection, I turned the car around and drove past the toilet again. Then I turned around again to head back in the right direction and pulled right up to the toilet and stopped.
I steadied my expression to stone serious, and turned around. “Do you need to go?” I asked Sam.
“No,” he smiled, perplexed and amused.
“Well, you need to at least try,” I said.
“You’re kidding,” Sam said, eyes dancing.
“No, Sam. You need to try,” I said.
As he gestured to get out of the van, I died off laughing. Sam was cracking up too.
“I knew you were kidding,” he said. And of course he did know. It’s not the first time he’s been teased after all.
But a couple things about this fun and brief little exchange are truly important. First of all, we must tease our kids. It’s vital to be able to laugh at yourself. We all know adults who can’t, and they are painful to be around.
Secondly, the Don’t Carpe Diem thing led to instant fame for one blogger — and so many friends of mine identify with that, but I think it’s all wrong. Not only do I think we should seize every day and every moment, I think we should seize every roadside toilet. I am so glad I turned around. We are all busy. I don’t know anyone who keeps up with laundry or commitments completely — although pretty much everyone I know does a better job than I do. But how tragic if we have the mindset that we need only cherish those special moments. Because every breath is a gift (Acts 17:25), and living in the moment doesn’t mean that we live in denial. Some moments are ugly. I’ve had my share. Like that time in Heathrow when I was traveling internationally without Will and was changing one-year-old Nate’s horrendously disgusting diaper and three-year-old Dub decided he’d just venture right out of the restroom into the British throng. But so what? Does that mean I didn’t have a trillion things to be thankful for even in that moment? Besides, a taste of ugly makes us acknowledge and appreciate the beautiful all the more.
May I give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18) , and may I seize every moment.
I hope you’ll tell your stories again and again, and remind yourself too of the truth you already know.
Love to YOU,