We took R to Savannah Christian tonight to see The Journey tonight. Several families from our small group at church were planning to attend. Amber and I went through with our pal Haley. We got separated from the other family who was meeting us at 5 when they got in line to get tickets. No major deal, of course.
So, Amber, Haley, R and I went in to listen to the music while we waited. As in years past, it was great. There’s a lot of talent at that church. R enjoyed it, and was pretty good while we waited. She even started clapping for everyone.
After about 30 minutes of waiting we headed out. We had been warned to stay toward the back of our group to try and avoid the brunt of the Centurions. If you’ve never been, each “family group” is escorted by a Roman soldier, who basically harasses you as you go along. The very beginning has several guards yelling for you to move forward. All this is done to show how the Jews were mistreated and oppressed in the time when Jesus came. As you can imagine, we were concerned about how it might scare R.
As soon as we stepped out into the night she wasn’t too happy, even with me carrying her. The soldiers made it worse. Walking down the dark paths did not help. We were hoping she would enjoy watching the drama scenes. As we walked to the second one, I told Amber that I didn’t know if this was going to work for the little girl. It was at that point I felt the warmth.
I have heard about this from our friends who are parents. It still surprised me, and my brain didn’t seem to want to go to the logical conclusion. Here’s the sequence: I felt this sudden burst of warmth on my side, under where I was holding R. The girl is like a space heater, so that was my first thought: “Oh, I’m just feeling her body heat.” But then it began to slowly spread. Which led to my next thought: “You’ve got to be kidding.”
So, in the name of science, I took my free hand and checked the outside of her tights. That hand came away damp. So now I had a wet child, wet shirt, and a wet hand. So I did the manly thing: Took the Amber’s purse (which was doubling as a diaper bag), and turned around. Amber and Haley went on, and I backtracked up the path.
Let me say at this point that all the volunteers at Savannah Christian were amazing. Three guys met me, and one walked me back to make sure I found my way OK, let me in a side door, and pointed me to a restroom with a changing table. On the way we passed some Centurions, who all happily said hello to R which was funny to me but I don’t think helped her.
Once inside I changed R, and since she had a dress on I was able to just take the tights off. Next I took off my long sleeve shirt to survey the damage: The tshirt underneath had a nice wet spot on it. Awesome. I put on my hoodie, and zipped it so I didn’t look completely silly.
I carried the girl on one arm, and the wet tights and my shirt in my free hand. Their bookstore was open, so I am now the proud owner of a Savannah Christian shirt. Which led to this conversation to the lady at the register:
Her: “Would you like this in a bag?”
Me: “No, but I’d like the bag.”
Me: “I just changed her, now I need to change me.”
Her: “Oh, my. Would you like me to cut the tag off?”
Me: “That’d be awesome.”
Back to the bathroom, to emerge in my nice, new, dry shirt with the wet clothes in the bag. I spent the next hour or so entertaining her with my phone (how did parents cope before smart phones?) and feeding her some cookies. She took about a dozen selfies of her forehead. In the one clear picture we looked at I realized how crazy her hair was, and realized that people probably thought I was the poor dad who didn’t know how to work a brush.
When the girls were done, we were able to take her around to Bethlehem, and she loved the animals. On the way someone got us on a shuttle going back where we weren’t really supposed to go, and another volunteer steered us around to get to where we were going. Again, everyone was great.
Craziness, and silliness. Wouldn’t trade it for jack. Now to wash her clothes, and mine, including my hoodie. My 116 hoodie which, ironically, says “Unashamed” on the sleeve. It doesn’t mean “Unashamed of walking with your wife’s purse, a wet child, and pee soaking through two layers of clothes, but hey, if the urine soaked jacket fits, I’ll wear it..