Flush With...Oh Hell, Just Read It...
There was however, a moment, in which I felt certain I was on the verge of cementing my status within the family as not only a Godless Heathen, but a blasphemer and a heretic. I know they've suspected such for years, but have politely declined to comment; merely including me in their ritual worship of God The Father in hopes that someday, I might decide to ask Jesus into my irreverent Yankee heart.
I respect their beliefs. I really do. I think it's nice that they have something to give them comfort, guidance, and purpose. I've said before that I envy anyone who has the solace of a convicted heart, and I mean that.
I demonstrate my respect by politely bowing my head when prayers are said, and even mouthing an "Amen" where appropriate. I do this also in the hopes that my boys will learn to respect the beliefs of others, though they may not share those beliefs.
As we gathered around the table to say the blessing, my boys looked at me for guidance in the art of faking piety. Not really, but you know, that's really what it amounts to; paying lip service to a premise I find wholly implausible and occasionally, patently ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder if my well-intentioned charade playing is really modelling tolerance and acceptance...or merely hypocrisy.
I bowed my head reverently, and Diminutive One followed suit, but glanced up every one or two nanoseconds, profoundly curious about the scene playing out in front of him. The normally jolly and affable face of my father-in-law was creased and furrowed with religious fervor, which he seemed to find disconcerting, but terribly intriguinig.
Well, it is, to be honest. Watching someone who is feeling the Holy Spirit is an undeniably interesting spectacle.
Pubescent One simply opted out, absconding to the bathroom a second or so before my maternal radar honed in on his impending flight. Shame on me for not having the foresight to make him stand in front of me, thus blocking his escape route.
"Dear Heavenly Father..." intoned my father-in-law,
"We thank you for this food, which is nourishment for our bodies. We thank for our family Lord, and the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. We ask that you watch over them and keep them safe. We pray that we might do your will and serve you in all things. In Jesus' name we pray...Amen."
It was actually quite moving. My father-in-law has a center of pure white marshmallow and tends to get very emotional. His voice quivered, heavy with emotion. I said Amen, and meant it. Not to the prayer, but to the sentiment that moved him to pray so sincerely.
The Amens had scarcely faded on our lips when to my horror, the toilet flushed, loud and emphatic in the reverent silence.
And God forgive me, I felt the laughter bubbling up from deep within my wretched, impious soul and strain against the barricade of my tightly clamped lips. I must have made some small sound, because Diminutive One looked up at me with shock and terror on his freckled face.
He knew. My darling son, for whom I had striven to be the very model of religious tolerance, knew I was on the verge of a full blown guffaw. And he knew that if I could not quell that impulse, it would be very, very bad indeed.
I dared not look at husband. He knows my every thought, you see, and in his eyes I would not find the stern faced recrimination I very much needed. No siree. What I would find there, would be amusement and blatant antagonism. If I so much as glanced his way, I would be lost.
So I chose instead to look at my sister-in-law. Who was biting her twitching scarlet bee-stung lips. And then my brother-in-law, who had his knuckles pressed against his mouth with desperate ferocity. And then at my niece who was silent, but open-mouthed.
I searched the faces of my parents-in-law, which were still ignorantly beatific. Apparently, they were oblivous in their rapture. I took a deep breath and let it out, making a mental note to add infanticide to my to do list.
My wayward offspring reappeared at that moment, and stood staring in bewilderment at the reddened faces before him and the accusatory looks being levelled at him.
My brother-in-law, shaking his head at my son good naturedly, took him by the shoulders and said,
"What?" repeated my son, truly puzzled.
Now honestly..it wasn't his fault. The child has been programmed from a very tender age to FLUSH THE TOILET. It was instinct, pure and simple. Not a commentary, not a comic flourish. Just a flush.
But damn it was funny.
Yep. I'm going to hell.
Shouldn't come as a big suprise to anybody who knows me, I guess.