Monday, May 23, 2011
Diana went home last weekend to visit her mom and dad. As the boys and I drove her to the airport, NPR did a story on the upcoming rapture. If you’re reading this in a non-rapture future, there was this preacher nutcase who, through careful misinterpretation of the bible, predicted the end of the world would come on 5/21 at 6pm sharp. It got a lot of media attention for no other reason than people were already bored with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s affairs.
Diana suddenly got a weird look on her face. “You don’t think it will happen, will you?”
Well, now that she mentioned it, I hadn’t given it much thought. But then I could read her mind that in the so-unlikely-it’s crazy event of the rapture, she would want to be there with Luca and Elijah.
That’s the hard part about being a parent to explain to non-parents. Our intense desire to eliminate all pain from our children’s lives makes us stress about imaginary disasters.
I pointed out that both our children were without sin and baptized. They would be riding the golden unicorn to Sesame Street. Diana and I were on the fence, savedly speaking. I said maybe we’d both get to share a pitchfork.
This next part is the rapture-honest truth.
Elijah piped up from his car seat. “I had a bad dream last night. I dreamt that I went to that place in the clouds, what’s it called?”
“Heaven,” I said shakily.
“Yeah, Heaven. I went up there and you and mommy got left behind. I was sad.”
I suddenly took the rapture .0005% more seriously. Saturday came and mostly went and I found myself emptying the dishwasher at 5:30pm. A half hour away from go time. I realized meeting the rapture with my hands in a dishwasher was really un-cool.
I found myself dialing the phone, almost unconsciously. I needed to talk to someone in the Central Time Zone. Knowing they’d be hit an hour before us.
Thankfully, my Peoria parents answered and informed me there were no Horsemen of the Apocalypse ruining their grilled veal.
Crisis averted, I hugged my sons and promised I’d never yell at them again. This lasted until we went to Whole Foods the next morning and I screamed at Elijah in front of a woman who seemed to have Child Services on speed dial.