I’ve just had a one of my best holidays ever. Aidan (9) and I set off on an adventure in a 30 year old VW Camper – Awesome! We spent many many MANY hours travelling up to a campsite in Berwick upon Tweed for the first part of our holiday. We had decided to stay four nights there, before travelling ‘down south’ for the end of our week away.
We visited some fantastic places, and had lots of brill father and son moments. These included watching Beat Boxing chaps at Edinburgh Fringe, cooking Bacon Sandwiches in our van on a secluded beach, and spending lots of time Geo-Caching. (Slight aside, but if you don’t know what that is – look it up www.geocaching.com)
On the day we were due to travel south, we had a slight technical hitch, which resulted in a three and a half hour journey taking thirteen hours and requiring the assistance of TWO large friendly AA recovery vehicles and a replacement camper for the last two nights!!
Even with all this, and probably all the more because of this, our holiday had been perfect. That was right until the very last night. We had decided to treat ourselves to an Indian takeaway in our van, and ordered one up! It started so promising as they did a ‘combination meal’ which meant you got two half portions of different dishes, so between us we ended up with a feast of four different dishes (which happend to turn up full size!!), chips, rice AND a naan!
Just after we had finished the poppadoms, and I started serving up the banquet, Aidan declared he was feeling a little sick, and needed to go to the toilet straight away! I’d love to say my paternal thoughts sprung into action, but must confess fairly high in my thoughts was the £20.75 I’d just spent for food that obviously wasn’t going to get eaten. But, I was able not to dwell on this, and escorted Aidan to the toilet block.
After a few moments of him being alone in a cubicle, and me standing conspicuously outside I asked whether he was ok, and he invited me into his sanctuary, obviously insisting I locked it after I did! I was confronted by my little boy, knelt in front of the toilet basin just in case he was to be sick. I asked the obvious question, “Are you ok mate?”. His response was the whole purpose of this post, he simply said, “No – but I’m going to pray about it.” He pulled his hands together in school assembly fashion, and after a few moments of silence said, “There. I prayed in my head, but it still counts!”
And that few moments of silence, and that sentiment of, ‘I prayed in my head, but it still counts’ was one of the loudest things I have ever heard. I confess to being a little teary, but not sure whether it was the faith my son was displaying or the loud reminder that I had moved away from mine. Not consciously, but just allowed life to drift in between me and my faith. I need to start to communicate and re-connect with God, and I need to start perhaps by speaking quietly in my head, because it still counts!