Yesterday was officially a bad day for Boy #2.
We left yesterday morning for Branson to do so Feast-planning research and investigation. Admittedly, I could have gone alone, but my wife’s philosophy since I entered the ministry has been this: If we can do it together, let’s do it together, because togetherness generally beats inconvenience. So, family road trip it was!
Being homeschooled, the kids were able to bring their schoowork with them, and yesterday’s focus was literature, leading up tot he bad day for Boy #2. He was reading Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner which, if you’ve never read it, ends with a sudden sad happening: a dog dies. And if you know kids, that’s a big deal. If you know Boy #2, in particular, that’s a super big deal.
So, as I drove down I-44, I began checking the rear view mirror a bit more frequently after I heard Boy #2 triumphantly announce that he was beginning the last chapter, so that I could keep tabs on him as he progressed. Sure enough, I could tell when he hit it. The eyes watered. The tears began to roll down. And the book finally closed. Conveniently, we were at an exit (and I needed to switch with my wife anyway, as I was pretty tired), so we were able to pull into a Wal-Mart parking lot and apply some generous hugging and stuff.
That #2 was dwelling on it became apparent here and there during the course of the day–not to the point that he was not able to have fun with his brothers, but enough that he announced to all of us that (1) he didn’t want to hear anyone talking about dogs for the rest of the day, and that (2) today was officially a “bad day” for him. Well, I take the role of official “bad day” declarer on myself for my family (wife excluded), so I mentally noted that there was still a long day ahead of us and plenty of time for the day to be redeemed for Boy #2.
Plenty of time, indeed. Time enough for Boy #2 to pick up a rock and scream in terror as he discovered that crawling on the rock in his hand was a spider he was certain was a black widow. Time enough for him to very painfully injure himself at the park at which his family had stopped. Time enough for him to painfully injure himself a second time at said park. Time enough for him to develop a sore throat that prevented him from being able to enjoy his dinner. Time enough for him to become feverish on the ride home, accompanied by a “funny feeling” stomach and a headache. And time enough for him to wake up in the middle of the night with a terrifying dream that had something to do with our ceiling fan (well, that was 2am, so technically it was today).
This morning, he is much better. Still grieving the dog a bit, but pushing onward. Fever seems broken. Stomach, throat, and head feeling just fine.
However, as the Smith family official declarer, I have let him know that yesterday was, indeed, a bad day.
And he says that he is really enjoying the new book he just started: Old Yeller.
(That’s supposed to be a joke…)