“We’re not going to tell Mom about this one.” Do you ever recall your Dad telling you that as a child? Yes, I know, parents shouldn’t keep secrets, but sometimes you do things with Dad that are better left unsaid when you are around Mom.
For me, this occurred when Dad and I were inviting people to our church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS). I really have no idea what day of the week it was, where we were, or anything else about the day. You’ll understand why all the details have faded away very shortly.
Like I said, I don’t know where we were, but I do know we were not close to any public restrooms. I also know I had to pee. And I don’t mean that in the sense of, “Hey, let’s hit the next exit if it looks promising.” No, I had to pee NOW! And my Dad, doing what any reasonable man would do, said to me, “Hey, you are going to have to hold it for a little bit.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t understand my predicament. Holding it wasn’t an option. When I had effectively communicated the dire situation to him, his response was, “Here, just come behind our van and go on the concrete … We’re not going to tell Mom about this one.” I don’t know about anybody else, but the freedom to just pee on the concrete was incredibly liberating. No longer was I bound by porcelain toilets, pinching it off, and being doubled over in pain. Against this backdrop, I was happy to oblige my Dad’s request to keep this as our secret.
Before I went to Kindergarten, my mom would frequently take me shopping with her. I liked spending time with my mom and she usually let me eat cocktail shrimp at LS Ayres, so these shopping trips were lots of fun.
A few weeks after my liberation from traditional toilets, I was on another shopping trip with my Mom when I realized I had to go. I told her I had to go and her response was the standard one, “We’re almost to the store, you can go when we get there.” She didn’t expect my response of, “Why can’t I just go on the concrete like I do when I’m with Dad?” Oops. The cat was out of the bag.
I’m really not sure how that conversation with Mom and Dad went down, but it sure does make for a good story 25 years after the fact. My Dad taught me tons of lessons about how much God loves me and how I could draw near to Him. And, like any good Dad, he also taught me how to navigate the world. And one aspect of navigating the world is learning that sometimes the only reasonable option is to pee on the concrete.