Day 22, Hug-a-tree

Day 22/46 days of daily Lenten blog posts

Lets take a quick break from medicine:

Awhile back, we were home in the States and we had to run an errand.  Will, Owen and I decided it was a good idea to run this errand at a store called ‘Walmart,’ you may have heard of it.  It’s a really big store.

We haven’t spent a lot of time in this store.  However, we have spent a fair amount of time wandering around in the jungle.  So, navigating Walmart shouldn’t have posed any great problem.  Surely this chain megastore is no match for a jungle-savvy family from the North Coast of Honduras, right?  Hmmphhh…

As we entered and advanced just past the foyer, Owen remembered that he forgot something in the car.  We briefly discussed a rendezvous and then split up.  Did I mention we were in a smidge of a hurry?

I found our items quickly (amazing how fast you go through underwear in a tropical rain forrest), and proceeded to our designated meeting place;  But alas, no Owen.  I ‘quickly’ took a jaunt around the store.  15 minutes and 2 miles later, still no Owen.

So, I took a second lap.  This lap consisted of a fair amount of grumbling, slight cursing, and a detailed mental review of the parental monologue with which I was going to tongue-lash him.  Still no O.

3rd lap, 29 minutes later, one over-head page performed…  This is when irrational parental thoughts start to sneak in.  Could someone really overpower my 100 pound 12 year old boy?  He’s fast, and athletic.  He knows how to make a weapon out of any random object he finds.  He is capable of making the most annoying, loud, screeching noises—We live in a jungle where there is a lot of exotic birds, bugs, and animals that are constantly making desperate cries in an attempt to procreate, and still Owen somehow manages to elevate his cackle above the jungle roar.

I am now rationalizing with myself:  There is just no way some Icky-guy has been able to stuff my son in a shopping cart, muffle his conniption, and evade detection as he left the store, right?  But every parent knows how those crazy doubts creep in.  What if they lured him out with Nutella?  Or the promise of screen time?  Or stupid happy-meal toys, carnival prizes, or Reeces Pieces?  It could happen.

Finally, I see him, hands in pockets, strolling around, nonchalantly.  He looks up and sees me;  Sees the veins bulging in my temples, the steam coming from my nostrils.  He astutely tucks his tail between his legs and approaches me like I’m a cobra—Owen is savvy when it comes to poking the hornets nest.

“Dude!  Just hug a tree, Dammit!  Sit down in the store and just don’t move.  Estas matándome!! (you’re killing me!).”  With that out of my system, I hugged him a bunch, and we got the heck out of the Walmart.  

It’s funny, but now we regard home (the United States) as the scary place, and not the ‘murder capital of the world’ (Honduras).  When we come back, we are worried by different threats, such as teenagers with cell phones, skinny jeans, or saying the wrong thing and offending someone.  

It is a weird perspective to have developed, and probably the reason that many missionaries become somewhat ‘unconventional,’ ‘eccentric,’ and ‘quirky,’ over time.  Good thing I have remained so normal and level-headed…

(Below, hear the jungle roar…  Cicadas in the evening)

Photo of the day:

Here was our Neonatal Resuscitation team, for ‘The Vampire’s’ son (See Day 20 post).  We all smile when things go well;  Dr Anne, Nurse Cratchet (I mean Liz.  I mean Elizabeth), and Dr. Georgina.  They are so great to work with!!


22 done, tomorrow I’m half way there…


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