TBT: You’ll Look Back and Laugh: Stories That Are Only Funny Because Nobody Died
If you know me at all, you know I don’t believe in Hell. I believe in the hell that is Green Hills Mall the week before Christmas, and the hell that is 3 toddlers throwing up in rotation all night, and the hell of watching someone you love struggle with something you are powerless over. But not Hell hell. Not a big hot place where people who like sex too much, or strangle kittens, or abduct children, go when they die. Sometimes I wish I did. There are certainly some people I think could benefit from such an experience.
Also, I think 98% of contemporary Christian music is crap. Periodically, this amazing woman at my church, Dieta, sings some song during offering that blows me away. But I think Dieta has a special good-Christian-song-devining gift, like those people who can find water with a forked stick. I could wander the Christian Music aisles for weeks and only end up dry and dusty and dying of thirst.
So, what on God’s green earth could persuade me to listen to a conservative Christian radio station in my car while tooling across the country with my three young children?
West Virginia. And Gerber meat sticks.
We’d been on the road for 2 1/2 weeks, just Zoë (8), Grey(5), Juliette(1), and me (pregnant with twins). We were all
unfreaking-beliviably marginally tired of each other. Zoë and Grey were particularly fed up with digging gelatinous meat products out of glass jars just to keep Juliette from screaming.
I might have forgotten to mention that we weren’t exactly traveling in comfort. No mini-van for us, no sir. We were all cozied up in a ’99 Camry with a spoiler on the back. The three kids were packed into the backseat, like biscuits in a can, and now the whole car reeked of processed turkey.
I had my seat slid waaayyy back to accommodate my enormous belly. Every time Grey rearranged himself (which, on account of him being 5, was every 3.8 seconds) he kicked the back of my seat. I kept my cool for over 3 hours. I was EPICALLY winning. But then my iPod died. In West Virginia.
We were okay for a while. There was an oldies station and someone playing Christmas songs. But eventually, these radio stations died away leaving only one choice: A conservative Christian station broadcasting a show for children featuring stories from the Bible. Not exactly my first choice for a road trip playlist, but I can get into a good Bible story as much as the next liberal Christian girl. I settled into the tale of Samson and Delilah and tried to ignore Grey thumping me in the small of my back.
Juliette was very involved in a game of throw-the-paci-on-the-floor-and-cry-until-someone-picks-it-up. There was some crazy traffic up ahead, we were going roughly seven miles an hour over the world’s longest bridge. With concrete Jersey barriers on each side. And Grey was kicking. And Juliette was screaming. And Zoë was sighing these huge 16-year-old sighs. And some twin had a foot lodged under my rib which she was punting every moment Grey was still. And we still had 100 miles until the next dot on the map. And I decided Juliette needed more meat sticks to distract her. So I asked Zoë to fish one out of the jar. And Zoe said, “Noooo!!! Not again! Those things stink! And so does this station! And why are we EVEN listening to this?!”
And I said…
Because this is a long bridge and these Bible stories are the only things standing between you and Hell.
No.I.Didn’t. Yes, I did.
“MOM!” Zoë exclaimed.
And Juliette was distracted. And Grey was still. And for at least fifteen minutes I was wrapped in heavenly peace.