Sunday, February 28, 2010

I guess he DID say please.

This was a week that caught us by surprise. It just ended up being busier than either of us expected. Kid stuff, ministry stuff, house stuff--everything just combined to send Jason and I scrambling around all week. So on Saturday afternoon we decided to do something extr-y fun. We packed up and went with some good friends and their 3 boys to the Sydney Olympic Park and the Aquatic Centre there. The Olympic Park is really nice--it's vast, with all kinds of sporting venues and lots of cafes and parks to hang out in.

And the Aquatic Centre is kid heaven.

It has a water playground (pictured there), a huge twisty waterslide, a massive wading pool for toddlers and all kinds of fountains and other ways to get drenched. And the whole family gets in for $20. Another reason to love Australia. We had a great time and also achieved a parent's main goal for a weekend outing: tire your children out. If they're not begging to go home and go to bed, you haven't had enough fun.

After we swam, we had dinner outside on the grass under a large tree. Dusk was falling, and looking up in the tree we were sitting under, one of our friends noticed a bat hanging up there. It wasn't moving though. And it was just one bat. Except then we noticed another. And another. And several more. And then they started waking up and flying around. And y'all, they weren't those little bats that you can't tell if maybe they're sparrows or something. These were BATS. With batty little furry heads and big, leathery, batty wings. They were practically flaunting their battiness. Did I mention that they were BIG? And that they were BATS?

You are probably guessing that I wasn't so thrilled about this. Isn't it nice how we're getting to know each other better? I'm sure you can construct my worst nightmare from reading recent posts. A bat with a rat on its back and a red back spider perched on its head. Flying above my head, screeching and trying to get me to change cell phone providers.

I am fine with bats while they are just chilling in the tree, 20 feet above me, but I don't really wanna be around when they start swooping and stuff. The kids thought it was the coolest thing EVER and got closer to the bottom of the tree, peering up into the branches. Jason, in his element, bounded around on the grass pretending to be a bat, landing on the kids' heads and squealing. He is the fun parent. I am okay with this.

Meanwhile, I am rapidly finishing my sandwich and simultaneously buckling Grace into the stroller. She might make a tempting bat snack, you know, and I didn't want one of them snatching her up.

"Are you scared, Mom?" Ava asked me. "No, I'm not scared," I said, "I just don't want bat poop on my head." This was partially true.

They were well and truly waking up now, and as I had already started walking with the stroller, Jason and the kids caught up with me. Nate and I ended up walking together towards the car.

Nate: Mom, do you think God would make me a bat?
Me: I don't think so, buddy. He's already made you the way He wants you to be. Why do you want to be a bat?
Nate: So I can see other bats. And eat fruit.
Me: Um. Oh.
Nate: Maybe when I get to heaven He can make me a bat.
Me: Ya think?
Nate: I'll ask him. (Looks up and raises his voice) God! God? When I get to heaven, will you please make me a bat? (Lengthy pause. He is sincere in this.)
Me: Well? What did He say?
Nate: He say yes.
Me: Really? Are you sure?
Nate: Yeah. He always tells me yes.
Me: He does? How come?
Nate: I know a magic word.
Me: So you say a magic word, and God says yes when you ask Him things?
Nate: Yep.

I knew my spiritual life was missing something. A magic word. Nate's been asking God lots of things lately. You know, the usual: Can I have a puppy, Can you make it not rain on my birthday, and Can you make me a bat when I get to heaven. What kid hasn't asked for that? Well, the jury's still out on the puppy, his birthday isn't until October, and we'll have to wait till we get to heaven to see about the bat.

But who can resist a magic word? And hey, his reasoning is sound. He just wants to hang with other bats and eat fruit. It's what bat dudes do. And if that's wrong, he doesn't wanna be right.

I think I'll stop here. Cause really, this messes with my theology and I should just go to bed now.


  1. Wow, you guys know how to have fun! That sounds like a super day for the kids. I imagine they were tired out when you got home and went straight to bed. Fat chance? Now about those bats... were they the same ones we saw at the Royal Botanic Gardens, the football sized, enormous bats with the dripping fangs and the searching eyes that follow your every movement? We all know you have a big red bull's eye painted on top of your head. But you wear it so well. Great post!

  2. Bats are just mean rats with wings!
    Come home, Baby Girl!( Have you noticed a common them in my comments?) But it was a funny post.

  3. I laughed my head off at your description of your worst nightmare!! Nate is the coolest kid and comes up with the most interesting comments--he will turn out to be quite a man someday!!

  4. Please Nate to use his powers to have God do something about the health care reform mess here in the States.

  5. But here's the $64k question: did he tell you his magic word? Or is he keeping that for himself?

    Bats are cute, really. But the fact that they are more leathery than furry makes me shiver just a little.

  6. I love that Nate has the red phone to God. He is such an awesome dude.

  7. Mom--yeah, I think they were the same kind as the ones we saw that day. Definitely dripping fangs. And if you listened closely, you could hear them whispering your name on the wind. Unnerving.

    And Beth, he won't tell us the magic word! He says we have to guess it. Like any spiritual guru, he likes to keep some things mysterious, I guess.

  8. Wow, good nature study:)
    If it makes you feel better, we have a few hanging around the trees out the front of our home:) they've even pooped on our outdoor furniture a bit!
    Nate's funny as always:)

  9. I love that Ava asked you if you were scared. She's surely picked up on the fact that big hairy rodent-like things don't exactly make you happy.

    Mandy and I leased a house together after college and it had a huge backyard with lots of mosquitos. She researched how to build a bat house so that we could have lovely bats in our very own backyard in order to kill the mosquitos. I totally vetoed that one. Like BIG time veto.

  10. Sounds like your son is ready for his prosperity gospel TV debut...

  11. That nightmare scenario... yikes and yucks. I'm glad you have Jason there to run interference for you in all things fearful. Especially the cell phone providers :)

    And I'm with Camp Papa. Please, yes, Nate, pick up the red phone on health care!

  12. "If they're not begging to go home and go to bed, you haven't had enough fun." I'm with you!

    $20 for the whole family? Sweet.

    Seriously? Bats? Are you some kind of pied piper and don't know it?
    But I have to say, I don't begrudge the bug eating bats at our place. So long as they stay in their area and I stay in mine.

    Is the magic word "please?" or something more complex. Hmmmmm.