The firefighter and I volunteered to teach Sunday School to our four year old and his class this year. I think we have done a pretty good job. Tried to come up with activities that fit the lesson and really bonded with these kiddos.
Maybe we have become too comfortable.
The firefighter and our boy, Connor, got to class before I finished dropping off our other kiddos and when I walked in Connor was complaining to his daddy about a splinter in his foot. As Connor peeled off his sock to show the firefighter, I left the class to rifle through the church’s first aid kit and found some tweezers and alcohol swabs and took them to the firefighter. The firefighter and a couple of four year old’s were looking at our son’s foot with mild curiosity. We still had a few minutes before our class officially started so I told the firefighter that I needed to go grab the supplies we needed for our activity and I would be back in a few minutes.
As I walked out the door I also vaguely mentioned that I had seen something about getting splinters out with baking soda, just in case it was going to be an involved process, we could just get it out later. Then I left my big, strong, firefighter husband and our sweet little class as I went downstairs for supplies, waddled off to the bathroom, and chatted for a moment with a friend.
These were critical minutes, I would soon discover.
I walked in to find our son laying on the table, his leg across his daddy’s lap, squawking. My husband was trying to wrangle this child, who is dramatic at the best of times, but at this moment he was feral with terror. It seemed he was overreacting again… until I saw the knife.
My husband and I like to be prepared. For me, preparation looks like a ready supply of snacks and water bottles in the car, just in case. I also have an emergency supply of bubbles, crayons, and coloring books. I have a totally pimped out changing station in the back, a collapsable wagon, and a picnic blanket cuz you never know. The firefighter is prepared with things like parachute cord, a flashlight, and a knife on his belt clip. He’s like Bear Grylls, minus the accent. He uses his knife all the time, to the point that he doesn’t even consider the fact that most people do not interact multiple times a day with a knife. We have almost been detained at airports because it’s just part of his daily life. Kind of like the average human’s pants. Except it’s a knife.
The fluorescent church lighting glinted off the knife’s blade as the firefighter looked at our child’s foot with the focus of a surgeon, seeing only the splinter and not the wide eyes of the three 4 year old’s who were watching the scene unfold.
When I ran in and hollered at him to stop, he just looked at me like I was acting like a crazy person. Yes, the man pinning our child down whilst holding a knife in front of a bunch of small children felt my raised voice was irrational behavior.
“Babe, it’s just right there. I’ve pretty much got it.”
“Dude. You are holding a knife. This is not normal to these kids. Look!”
I pointed to one of the small observers who was self soothing by repeatedly smoothing his hands through his hair, as he waited to see what would happen next.
“Huh…Oh. Connor, put your shoe back on. We’ll just get it out later.”
This made for a nice transition to our lesson. Jesus showing love by washing the disciples’ feet.