June 10, 2010


For many people, summer signals a slow down. They take it easy. They take vacations and enjoy time with their families.

It's the opposite for me.

Our jobs at camp keep us busy all year long, but things kick into gear a little bit more during May - September. Our staff arrived on Sunday for a two-week staff training and we've been busy working with them this week.

One thing that we do every year is take them on a camp out to Nordhouse Dunes National Wilderness area. I wasn't quite ready to be away from Ben for two nights in a row, so we decided that Jack and I would just come up for the day on Tuesday. That's right . . . four hours there, four hours back. All in one day. As it ended up, we got there and it started raining, so we brought everyone home about three hours after Jack and I arrived. Oh, well.

On our way up there, I stopped about 30 minutes from the camp area to get gas. I was working on filling the car, and Jack was sitting in the back seat on the opposite side of the car. His window was down.

There was a car sitting at the pump across from us . . . just yards from where Jack was. The driver was with a little boy . . . maybe about 10 years old . . . and when they were done filling their tank, they were washing the windshield. Let's call him Frank.

And there was a car behind him, with a trailer attached and no room to back out. The man driving was big . . . and tall. Let's call him Goliath.

Goliath was finished and leaned his head out the window and yelled, "Hey buddy . . . could you move your car?" And Frank said, "In just a minute, we're almost done." It was all downhill from there.

They were yelling at each other, getting in each others' faces, etc. And then Frank grabbed his little boy's hand and said, "Do you need to go to the bathroom? Let's go inside for an hour or two" and proceeded to walk into the store leaving Goliath trapped. Which, of course, infuriated Goliath. He started calling him really nasty names. You can probably imagine.

So Frank came storming out yelling, "WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!"

All of this . . . with my three year old watching on just yards away.

While this was going down, I was frantically trying to finish up pumping gas . . . I only had a half tank and I was fine with that because I wanted to get OUT OF THERE. The man at the pump next to me was calling 911. I didn't want to stick around to see what happened.

So we drove off and Jack asked, "What does f***ing mean?" Awesome. I was livid.

I told him it was a bad word that we shouldn't say and we talked about how those men were not doing the right thing. He asked if they were obeying God and I assured him that at that moment, they were not.

I didn't think Jack was that shaken up over it until two minutes later when we stopped at Meijer and he refused to get out of the car. He was so upset and worried that we'd run into those men. I assured him that was safe, but had to carry him through the store. Seriously. He's almost 40 pounds.

We got back on the road, and Jack was really quiet. It had been about 15 minutes and Jack finally asked, "Hey Mommy? Were those men pirates?"

It reassured me that at least part of his childhood innocence remained in tact.


Melissa Hoffman said...

sweet boy. I just had an experience like that too with an old woman who accidentally took a parking spot from this guy in a truck with confederate flags all over it. He literally pulled his bumper right up against hers got out of his car and cussed this poor 80 year old woman out. Then my pregnancy hormones kicked into high gear and I ran out there trying to protect the poor lady. The police finally came and had to take him away in their car! CRAZY PEOPLE!

rachel said...

Yes, Jack, yes. They were pirates.

Jeanette said...

Yikes. Poor Jack. Who are these people?

Anonymous said...

hate the story, but love jack's thinking...pirates!!

Sarah said...

Poor Jack! So sad that adults have to behave this way....and in front of their own children no less! Sad :(