God’s Presents


We had a meltdown in the grocery store last night.

When I say “we”, it’s to protect the guilty.

I don’t have meltdowns in public.

When I do, they’re fantastically passive aggressive and snarky.

I don’t kick and scream…or thrash about.

I don’t do that….I’m a MATURE MAN…I bite my tongue and whisper mean things, instead.

I have ways of melting down that are a lot more covert than the meltdowns that an emotionally honest child has.

Anyway….when Nate and I got out to the car after leaving Jenny and the rest of the children in the store, we sat and tried to cool off a little.

When people hear “YOU’RE DUMB!!!!!! YOU’RE DUMB!!! I DON’T LIKE BEING WITH YOU!!!” coming from the minivan, they stare and smile….and I wave at them as they pass….and then somebody yells some more.

That’s just the way it goes.

Anyway, I turned on the radio and after scrolling through the stations, settled on one of the Christian stations in our area, and….the yelling stopped.

Amazing….who could have seen that coming?

It was like a DEMON had been chased out of the Grand Caravan.

The announcer talked about a lot of things that they talk about on Christian radio….and then from the back seat, I heard a voice, exhausted after a strong bout of yelling at me, say, “presents?”.

“I want presents….”

I realized what had happened, and before I knew what I was doing, said, “No…I think he’s saying ‘presence’….like God’s around, not ‘presents’ “.

Nate didn’t need an explanation….”presents” actually might work better than “presence” anyway.

We hear “presence” all the time…until we stop paying full attention.

Maybe “presents” is a stronger way to present (er….) the situation.

The reason for the meltdown at the beginning of this story was that somebody had such uncontained enthusiasm for being in the grocery store with all these old people who were just dying to break a hip at the hands of an energetic four-year old…I mean literally dying to break a hip when a disciple of the cartoon character Sonic the Hedgehog came ripping down their aisle…..somebody was too energetic and loud …..and we HAD TO GET OUT OF THERE QUICK….take that energy somewhere safe….somewhere containable.

That’s why we left…even though some of the people in our group of two REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO GO…..”LET GO OF ME!!! LET GO OF ME!!!! YOU’RE SQUEEZING ME!!!! LET GO!!!! PUT ME DOWN!!!!! ARGHHHHHH!!!!”

Man…I hate the walk of shame through the gauntlet of disapproving old eyes.

I hate that.

“God’s presents”….man, it’s hard sometimes…but I am so lucky to have a high-spirited little guy like that in my life.

I miss the “presents” part when I start feeling frazzled on the long walk out of a nice grocery store.

It’s easier to shop when no one is thrashing or yelling.

I miss these “presents” all the time….until something makes me catch my breath and say, “oh”.

“oh……would you look at that? God…..that is beautiful…..”

Nate wants some presents.

Me, too….”presents” or “presence”…I’ll take either one….anytime.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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