There is never a dull moment around my four year old son. He is overly friendly, silly, inquisitive, and
occasionally down right ornery, and the mixture of those traits often leaves me amused and/or frustrated.
We were on our way back from a mini-vacation in Chicago, which shouldn’t be much more than a 6 hour road trip. Our trip back took close to 9.5 hours; if there was a traffic jam, construction, or a 100 foot bridge beam requiring a police escort and 25 mph interstate speed, we encountered it.
We decided to stop in Lafayette, Indiana to get lunch and use the restroom. I rarely stop for extended periods of time, but I noticed the Chick-fil-a had an indoor playground and Gabe needed a break.
Gabe and I headed to the restroom before we got lunch. A tiny little old lady followed us into the bathroom, and Gabe and I held the door. There were only two stalls. Gabe sat down on the toilet, when he was disturbed by a rather loud noise.
The lady who entered the stall next door was having some obvious intestinal discomfort. She let out a very large fart and then it sounded like she was emptying the contents of her digestive tract in the most unpleasant way.
Poop happens, but I wasn’t prepared for my son’s response.
“Do you feel better?”, he yelled across the stall.
I immediately shushed him, and tried not to laugh.
She heard him; there wasn’t more than 3 feet of air space between us and a tin metal stall wall.
I was mortified, but I wasn’t sure why. My sweet little boy was just concerned for his neighbor across the stall.
We waited patiently in our stall until she left the bathroom. I couldn’t bare to cross her path, I feared that I would giggle over what my son said and offend her.
Everyone has tummy troubles in a public restroom at least once in their life, but they generally aren’t asked about it by a four year old.
Later I realized that I should have taken the opportunity to tell him that he did the right thing, even though it was at the most inopportune time. It was needlessly embarrassing to me.
He was a four year old little boy showing concern for someone that he didn’t know. I could learn from his example. Gabe reminded me that I need to take the time to check on my friends, and to not take life so seriously.