We Have A Whole Lifetime To Know He Is There

Three True Tales of Children
Yesterday, Sunday, was the summer party of my church. This means that the kids stayed with the adults throughout the service instead of going off to their respective youth groups, the message was very visual in nature and as we were celebrating summer, it rained.

But after worship was over, we stuck around and ate lunch together and caught up and hung out, which is known as fellowship in Christian jargon. But we also ordered two bouncy castles for the kids. One for the boys and one for the girls.

The reason we segregate like this, isn’t because we have butchered the Old Testament and believe it is wrong for boys to jump in the company of girls. It is simply because boys are boys and given the choice between constructively enjoying their own games and wrecking the fun of a little girl, the chances are they will pick the gender battle.

The first story regards two brothers, a twelve year old and an eight year old. We left the church’s music equipment set up in our haste to enjoy “fellowship” and so as I wandered around looking for my inhaler I found these two nerdy brothers at the piano. The elder was methodically tapping out the beat to “We Will Rock You” by Queen and the younger was singing loudly and joyously into the mic. It was amazingly cool and cute and it made me think that I should go father some kids immediately because they are so deadly.

Then I went back to the food area which is walled in one side by a bank of standard secondary school lockers- they’d fit a standard school bag and little more. The other kids were walking along the row of lockers knocking on the doors. After a while, the door would open and the head of a littler kid would pop out and they would have a conversation as if they were talking on a doorstep as neighbours. It was one of the most purely comic moments of my life. The kids squeezed themselves into these minute spaces, then weren’t frightened of the dark, cramped holes as the doors were shut and then in a stroke of comic genius, they started their little chats. Pure classic.

I am positive that in twenty years they’ll meet up in a hostel in Malaysia or at a conference and they will reminisce about the day when they pretended they lived in lockers.

The third and final story deals with the bouncy castles. The girls were happy to jump up and down and sing and dance and play games together. The boys quickly began deflating the castles at the power source and then grabbing onto the inflatable turrets as they re-inflated. This was great fun to them but they kept getting their feet trapped in corners or standing on the arms of their friends. At one point I was in the corner rooting a boy from the nefarious grasp of the inflating Spiderman castle when out of the corner of my eye, I saw another boy fly about 15 feet into the air.

As the main turret had inflated, it had catapulted this six year old into the air, for him to land with an audible-over-the-screaming-laughing-hyper kids slap on the wooden floor.

As fast as I could I got out of the castle, leaving Boy One to his fate and ran around to Boy Two. As I called his name, he didn’t answer and for a moment I was as frightened as anyone can ever be. As I got closer I saw why. He was lying sprawled out on the ground, limbs splayed, laughing himself incoherent. I took him outside the hall, thinking that maybe he was laughing to appear big and strong around the older boys. I asked him hurriedly where it hurt. He managed to get the sentence out between guffaws, “Everywhere and nowhere. I was flying!”

The idiot child didn’t even know how close he was to death. Oh well. Ignorance is bliss.

Everything was forced to calm down after that and as I left, a few hours later, the kid was pulling out of his mom’s arm talking about how he was going to write a story with pictures and he would call it “The True Story of the Day I Flew Through the Air.”

At least I had been cured of the illusion that having kids would be cool. I was right about them being deadly though.

Yours Correspondent, Who Only Has A Second To Spare

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