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pee smell.

pee smell.

I’d had visions of driving my minivan off a cliff for some time.  It’d been the family vehicle for 6 years.  We got it when I was 8 months pregnant with baby number 2, add one more child to the mix, THOUSANDS of miles, every stain, spill and bodily fluid truly known to man.  A four year old who called the section between his seat and the wall his “garbage area”, melted crayons, stickers, sucker sticks and goldfish dust that had become one with the interior.  Not to mention all of the mechanical struggles, my favorite being the power steering column, completely jacked up, I could no longer fully turn right… it was just about time for the thing to go…  

One particular day, a couple months back, something happened.  We were all home and getting ready to take my daughter to Tae Kwon Do.  Before we left the house we did the usual, “where is the dog” inventory so someone could put him away (he’s not the best trained dog ok).  Well, turned out we could not find him, so we started to look around and then all of the sudden my daughter realized he was in the van.  Something you should know about my kids, they are terrible door closers.  THE WORST EVER.  So, not shocking that they would leave the van door wide open and the dog would be in there, feasting in the garbage area naturally.  Thinking it would be funny, my son closed the van door with the dog in it, then the dog jumped to the front seat, put his feet on the door and wouldn’t you know it, locked himself in the van.  And here’s the kicker, the keys were in the van…because we are responsible people who often leave doors wide open and keys in vehicles.

What unfolded over the course of the next several minutes is something I will never forget.  You see, to the grown ups in the situation, it seemed like not that big of deal at all, but it felt like the world was ending to the kids in the situation.  Let’s just say it escalated fast.  Once the children realized their dog was locked in the van, they went from casual worry to full blown hysteria in a matter of seconds.  For whatever reason, the kids were convinced the dog was going to die and let the entire neighborhood know.  There they were, flailing in the driveway, screaming “he’s gonna die”, “he’s gonna DIE”, “HE’S GONNA DIE!” followed by “we might have to get a cat!”.  

There I stood, trying to calm them, assuring them dad would be able to free the dog.  I tried everything I could to reason with them, but honestly I was so surprised by their reaction.  I mean my kids are a touch on the dramatic side, but this was like a whole nother level of crazy and there was nothing I could do to ease their very concerned little hearts.

Unsure where the extra set of keys were, because they don’t exist, my husband used his breaking and entering skills and successfully broke into the van, rescuing the dog from his imminent death.  The kids crying, laughing, hugging…the dog oblivious.

This would be the end of the story except for the next day when I got into the car and I smelled something.  Now as I have described, the van is not the cleanest and therefore always smells, but there was a particular odor that I didn’t recognize, so I went through the quick inventory in my head of what the smell could be…moldy fruit? Nope. spoiled milk? Nope. too many socks? Nope.  Finally it hit me, it was pee.  Dog pee.  As my nostrils began to burn, I got upset.  The following thoughts ran through my mind: OHMGEE the dog went pee in the van, he was only in it for 7 minutes, you must be freaking kidding me.  I cannot take one more thing in here.  How in the world am I going to clean this smell out?  Look at that big old stain, I literally cannot breathe!  

It might seem like a silly story, but for some reason this one has stayed with me for a few weeks.  I sort of realized something, I was being the kid in the moment.  Where the day before, I was the grown up, all cool, calm and collected – sort of.  I was now the upset, frustrated child.  I had let my frustrations get to me.  I had forgotten that I have a Heavenly Father who just on the other side of this situation was telling me it will be OK, don’t get so upset, I have it all under control.

Our family has had a few bumps in the road lately; job loss, illness, kid stuff, family stuff, the list goes on and I’m sure anyone reading this can relate, through it all my natural reaction to get upset keeps taking me back to that pee smell, as insane as that sounds.  In times when I’ve felt that frantic, sinking, ‘oh crap’ feeling, I go back to that day.  The day where I told my kids, don’t worry we’ve got this.  And I keep thinking, how much more God must be saying this to me.  Seeing my reaction, and let’s face it, my overreaction (the apples didn’t fall too far from the tree here) to the “dog gets locked in the van moments” I face, has me realizing a lot about my own faith…what seemed like not a big deal to me, was an impending tragedy for my young children.  I can’t help but think God must be thinking the same way when I get upset.  

Anyway, I say all of this to say, God knows what you and I are facing.  He is just on the other side of it all, saying, “I’ve got this, don’t worry, it will all work out”.  You might just have to endure a little pee smell for a while.

{He took him outside and said, Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them. Then he said to him. So shall your offspring be, Abraham believed the Lord and it was credited to him as righteousness.} Genesis 15:5-6

Editorial note: we got a “new to us” van a couple weeks back and so far it’s stayed pretty clean 🙂


baby fix.



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