By Aaron Elder
We blog about serious things. Which is good. But, if we’re honest, we don’t receive God’s comedy well. So I figured what better way to receive God’s comedy than to share it.
We’re a family of 5. Joanna is my lovely bride and, together, we have the pleasure of parenting 3 comedians, also known as kids. Hannah (5), Gideon (3), and Nora (1).
Recently, we decided to go camping. Now, I don’t mean we planned in advance, I mean on a Wednesday we decided to go camping on Friday. We jammed a lot of planning and packing into a Friday and with the van stuffed, we were on the road at 7pm with an hour car ride ahead of us.
We had a great time singing in the car as the kids giggled at Daddy’s dance moves. Predictably, Nora cried – because she had a poopy diaper. But pressed for time, we couldn’t afford to stop. In what appeared to be a miracle from God, Nora stopped crying as we careened through North Idaho to our campground of choice – well actually because we left at 7pm on a Friday, we got the last spot at the last campground.
We decided I should set up camp with Gideon and Joanna take Nora and Hannah to change. It was at this moment things turned. It may indeed have been a miracle of God that Nora stopped crying, but if so, the means by which He used was Nora eating her poop. Cue gag reflex. With poop clinging to the side of Nora’s mouth, Joanna took the girls to change.
Meanwhile, Gideon and I set up tents just as darkness fell and the girls made their way back. As I put finishing touches on camp, I saw Hannah and Joanna peering into the bushes… as I approached, I discovered it wasn’t peering, no, Hannah was yakking her dinner into the bushes. The stomach flu on a camping trip?
By 10pm, things settled down enough to go to bed. Despite the rustling from neighboring campers, I fell asleep in my tent with Nora. Joanna’s tent with Hannah and Gideon played out differently. My light-sleeping wife, who can’t fall asleep if a cat rolls over in Colorado, tossed and turned as neighbors talked until 1:30am. Then, finally, silence. Just as she drifted to sleep, Hannah woke and what’s that? You guessed it – the rest of her dinner on the blankets inside the tent.
I woke first at 5am with Nora crying for milk oblivious to the happenings of the night. Since I don’t produce milk, I woke Joanna not knowing 3 hours is all she got!
After breakfast, we packed up camp and loaded the van just 14 hours after setting it all up. We spent the day at the lake and returned that night, just 22 hours after our journey began.
What does one do when God gives comedy like this? We laugh. And God is glorified in it all.