On a very dark day, many years ago, my family and I went out to dinner for Family Night. We spent the evening talking and eating and happy to be together. It was a nice way to relax as a family and I was content, but very difficult things were transpiring in our lives and so my mood was fairly somber.
We were seated not far from the bathrooms and though Chase was still young, I had a good view of the hall where they were located and so I sent him off to wash his hands and face. We continued to talk and joke and because I was distracted in general, the time got away from me and I began to wonder where Chase was. Aaron reminded me that we’d sent him to the bathroom. Mollified, we continued to visit.
A bit later, not entirely on task, I had to ask Aaron again where he was. “We sent him to the bathroom to wash his hands and face.”
“Yes,” I thought, “that’s right.” But it had been a while and just as I was about ready to send someone to get him he walked up to the table, his face still dirty, but pleasant, as is his usual mein.
“Chase,” I asked, entirely confused. “Where have you been?”
“I was in the bathroom.”
Okay, I think by this time we’d established that, but he’d been gone so long and his face was still completely covered in food.
“What took you so long?” The obvious next question.
“Oh,” he responded, “I had a hard time getting my shoes back on.”
I started to giggle.
“Um,” I asked, “Why were your shoes off in the bathroom?”
“You told me to go wash my hands and feet.”
With this I began to laugh uncontrollably. Who could blame me? I laughed and tears rolled down my face. Sweet release.
Chase just stood there looking at me.
“Mom, stop.” He commanded. “You’re totally embarrassing me!” I love the pure practice of irony.
To this day, when I am in a bit of a funk, I like to think of my youngest son in the bathroom at Sweet Tomatoes, shoes off, perhaps his feet in the sink. Not only does it make me smile because, let’s face it, that’s just a hilarious visual, but I smile because even if he was a little off the mark, he was remarkably obedient.