Any guesses on what today’s pithy title refers to?
Those were my eldest son’s requirements for his pumpkin patch pumpkin. Joshua attends an outstanding pre-school and this week the school arranged a field trip to a local pumpkin patch for its “Junior Bankers.” In addition to a fun hay rack ride, each child got to pick out a pumpkin to take home. And while the ceremonial picking of the pumpkin was supposed to be the highlight of the trip, ask any of the three year olds what the best part was and they will tell you without equivocation, “RIDING ON THE SCHOOL BUS!”
Did you know that God cares about field trips too? There were 32 three-year olds participating in the pumpkin fun and approximately 17 parents had signed up to go along. About a week before the adventure the school sent out an e-mail that indicated there may not be enough room for all parents on the bus. The e-mail encouraged parents to form car pools and even volunteered to coordinate the car pools if parents requested. I can only assume that the e-mail did not engender the hoped for response because the day before the trip an e-mail was sent to all of the parents indicating that only 6 parents would be allowed on the bus…and I was one of them!
I didn’t ask to be one of the six parents on the bus. I didn’t go to the director and indicate that I couldn’t possibly car pool since my van is, literally, filled with car seats. I didn’t raise my hand and demand special treatment since I am paying a small fortune to the day care every week. I didn’t try to explain to Joshua’s teacher the melt down I knew would come if Joshua got to school on Tuesday and learned that he had to ride the bus without Mom. I merely planned on being one of the first parents there so I could rely on a first come, first served argument, but in reality I knew that probably wouldn’t work. So I simply held my breath and hoped and prayed that I would be able to ride on the bus since that was really the source of Joshua’s excitement. Then the e-mail came out. I exhaled and, most importantly, I no longer had to hedge when Joshua bounced up and down with the thought of riding the school bus with Mommy.
Now I know there are many of you out there that will see all of this as merely a coincidence or a random event. And, who knows, maybe the school did select the parents at what they considered random. But I choose to see something bigger and, yes, even divine at my inclusion. Because my little three-year old has been through a lot this year too. And he needed something that was all his to share with only his Mom. While we can tell him over and over how special he is and how there are so many things he can do that the babies can’t do, sometimes he just needs something concrete. Sometimes, he needs an experience that puts him on top of a world without babies. Sometimes he needs to be able to act silly and look at trees and big trucks out the window of a big yellow school bus. I wish you all could have seen the joy on his little face.
So thank you, God, for the best ride on a school bus ever. And thank you for caring about the little things in life too.
And yes, Joshua got a great pumpkin. It was just the right size, wasn’t squishy at all, and on the back side was just a little bit of green.