I’m convinced God has a sense of humor.
Especially when it comes to kids. And raising them.
A few years back, three of my five children were attending preschool at the same time. As is our nature, we arrived early for school with the usual group of moms who share our same affinity for being early. If punctuality were a Fruit of the Spirit, I would have that one in spades. On that particular morning, I chugged a cup of coffee on my way out the door. When we arrived at the school, I needed to use the restroom. I brought the three boys into the restroom with me and asked them to wait patiently by the sinks while I used the potty.
The boys did as they were told. I praised them for listening as I washed my hands. Then, the door to the restroom opened and a familiar face walked in.
That’s when my oldest spoke up.
“My mom just pooped,” he said confidently. “In that one.” His little chubby hand pointed to the stall where the toilet I used was still flushing. My face, at the same moment, flushed a shade of red I didn’t know was humanly possible.
“No! I didn’t! I only…” my words trailed off as I tried to regain some sort of dignity against this flat-out lie.
“It’s ok,” the mom interjected. “We all poop.” She smiled a big, genuine smile and then closed the stall door behind her.
“But...no...I...didn’t…” I stuttered, looking more guilty than truthful at this point. My case was lost based on the evidence that I couldn’t even defend myself. I was an honest woman wrongly accused. Three little faces looked up at me with smiles so big I was scared they may freeze that way. Unable to even reprimand them for lying due to my utter embarrassment, I hurried them out of the bathroom and into the hallway where they snickered all the way to their class sign-ins.
I figured this space was a good place to finally defend myself and laugh about how embarrassed I was - and still am. To this day, I’m mortified to take any of my children into a restroom with me in fear I’ll be wrongly accused of my restroom behaviors. I think you’ll sympathize with my willingness to forgo a public bathroom trip and hold it until I get home in hopes of avoiding another bathroom tall tale.
Despite being completely and utterly embarrassed, I’m thankful for laughter - even if it is at my expense. I’m thankful for the way it can lighten my sometimes heavy heart. I’m thankful for the ways laughter buries itself into my memory. I’m thankful laughter binds us, unites us, and helps us love others better. There are times when I’ve laughed so hard with the people I love most that I’m positive in that moment we’re worshipping the Creator.
In Ecclesiastes 3:4 Solomon wrote there is a “time to weep, and a time to laugh.”
There is indeed a time to laugh, even if our laughter is quite literally at restroom humor.