Thursday February 15, 2007

My children are not predictable.  I would venture to say that your children are not predictable either.  Even the best behaved children will disobey their parents on occasion.  We should never be surprised by this, of course, because our children were born into sin, just as we were.  We all sin by our disobedience, and so do our children.  God places children in families, with parents who are to protect them and anticipate that their children will be, well……children.

If you’ve read my Thrift Store Treasures post already, you know about my serendipitous thrift store find and you know that I bought my children take & bake pizza for their Valentine’s Day dinner.  After my pizza was made, I went to my van and decided to call Corin to tell her about my new dress.  She and I were chatting about this and that the way mothers and married daughters do.  I’d heard a child crying during our conversation, and realized that it was coming from the pick up truck parked to my left.  The windows of the truck were tinted so I couldn’t see in.  Nothing really seemed amiss, other than the fact that there was an unhappy child, so I continued my conversation.

I also should tell you what my normal practice is for using the cell phone in the car.  Normally, if I would have called Corin, I would have started my van, dialed her number and then started my drive home while we chatted. Okay, I know that this is probably not the safest of practices, but it is what I do.  Normally.  As in 98.9% of the time.  You just needed to know that, because yesterday I didn’t start my engine before dialing Corin, and I didn’t start driving home while we chatted.  I just sat in my van in the parking lot and talked to her.  It was about 5:30 and just beginning to be dusk.

Just a few minutes into our conversation, I heard a knock on the driver’s side window.  It startled me, and I jumped!  But then I heard that crying again.  I looked over to my left through the window, but the little boy who had knocked was below the bottom of my window.  I looked down at the saddest, most afraid little face I’ve ever seen!  He was only 4, or 4 ½. I don’t think he was 5.  Beside him was a beautiful little girl of about 2 ½.  He was sobbing, and she was beginning to tear up.  I quickly looked around, wanting to make sure that some scary person had not sent these children to my car and were waiting to pounce once I opened the door.  Seeing no one, I rolled down my window and said, “Honey! What’s wrong?”  The little boy sobbed back something about someone “taking too long”.  I realized that these two little ones had been left locked, I’m sure, in the pickup next to me and that the adult was probably standing in the now very long line at the take & bake pizza joint.  I quickly told Corin I needed to go, hung up and got out of my van.

The rear door to the four door pickup was open.  I told these little ones, “Now, you climb back up into the truck and get into your car seats.  I’ll stay right here, I promise, I’ll stay right here outside your door and talk to you until your Daddy gets back.  Will that be okay?  I promise, I‘ll stay right here until he comes.” (I’d since made out that it was Daddy that was taking too long.)  They very quickly followed my instructions and hopped right back into their car seats.  I think they are probably very good little kids.  The little girl was now quite cheerful and was even smiling and babbling toddler-ese to me.  The little boy’s name was Donovan.  I asked them if they were having pizza for dinner, and they both smiled and nodded yes.  I told them that was what we were having too.  Poor little Donovan had been crying so long and so hard that he was still doing that choking, air sucking sob that little ones will do.  I wanted to hug him, but I knew I dared not.  I just kept smiling and talking to them

Not long after, I heard footsteps running through the parking lot.  It was Dad.  He was carrying a smallish pizza and looked pretty perturbed.  He said, “Son!  I told you NOT to open the door!”  I, big mouth that I am, quickly let him know that he should not scold these babies.  That they had disobeyed because they were very scared and were very concerned for what might have happened to him.  He melted a bit.  I explained that I was talking in my car on my cell phone and had heard them crying for awhile.  I also told him that little Donovan had knocked on my car window looking for help because he didn’t know where his Daddy was.  He needed to know that not only had Donovan opened the door, but that they had both gotten out of the truck!!  In their fear at being left alone for so long, they had disobeyed their father’s instructions.  I have the feeling that they are normally very obedient children, but they are CHILDREN!

The man’s face now turned to embarrassment, and he began to apologize profusely to me!  I did not want him to be embarrassed, and I told him that no apology was required.  I told him that the children had not bothered me or put me out in the least, that I had grandchildren their ages and that his children were just delightful children and I had enjoyed talking to them.  I let him know that they had hopped right back into their seats as soon as I told them to, and I told him about promising the kids I’d stay with them until he got back.  They finished buckling themselves into their seats and he closed their door and thanked me.

Then his face changed again when I said, “You know, I’m really glad that it was a nice, safe Grandma that was parked next to you today.”  I think he got it.  He had left his children unattended for “just a minute”.  Judging by the size of the pizza, I’m sure that he was in a hurry to get home and get the children settled with their pizza and a babysitter so he could take his wife out for a Valentine’s Day dinner.  He’s probably a really nice guy, a good husband and, normally, a wonderful dad.  But in his haste to make the evening special for his family, he failed to protect the beautiful blessings the Lord has given him.  He failed to remember that they are just little children, and that they do not know enough of this world to know what a dangerous situation they could have been in.  They didn’t really know any better.  He, however, does know better.

Why I didn’t start my car before dialing Corin, I don’t know.  I should have been miles down the south bound side of the freeway by the time Donovan really panicked enough to open the door of that truck and get out.  I frequently tell you that I look daily for God’s hand in my life.  Yesterday it was pretty clear to me that He intended for a kindly grandma to be there for those two little ones.  I’m glad to be a lump of clay in His hands.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

Be Sociable, Share!

5 comments to Thursday February 15, 2007

  • What a beautiful story! Yes, God did use you (and BTW I’m so excited for your find! The dress IS lovely and very feminine). A good lesson for us all on both sides of the fence. And to think that I posted about my husbands choice to have onions for lunch on Valentines Day (in jest of course).

    Gini @ ghyoung@blogspot.com

  • 😮 Praise the Lord it was you and not some psycho!!! I actually have a funny storey about being in the car alone with my little sister. I dont remember where my mom was but I lost something down insise the cars seat. I shoved my hand down looking for it and cut my finger. My sister was about 4 or 5 and said “Oh no! What are you going to tell Mom???” I said ‘the truth.’ She says “Don’t tell her that! She wont believe you! Tell her you were riding a wild horse and fell off!” I’m think :rolleyes: :rolleyes: yeah, that’s MUCH more believable 😆

  • Wow, isn’t it awesome to look back at seemingly chance occurrences and see god’s hand over it all?  What a blessing you were to that family!

  • What a blessing that God used you to be there for the dear little children.   It brings tears to me thinking how wonderful God is in being a part of our lives and directing us.   

  • What a blessing that it was you and not someone with ill intent!

    Love, Heather