I admit it. I have a deep seeded phobia that my son will grow up to be stereotypical preacher’s kid. Rotten and proud of it. For centuries, preacher’s kids have walked the fine line between perfection and hellfire and brimstone. I, myself, became a neurotic overachiever with a warped sense of humor and chip the size of a small semi-truck on my shoulder. All in all, I am one of the lucky ones. I won’t and really can’t get into my theory of why preacher’s kids have such a hard time of it. Mostly, it can be summed up in one little ditty from the eighties, “I always feel like somebody’s watching me…”
My son, bless his little heart, is well on the path of becoming one of the Rotten. He is remarkably intelligent. Beautiful beyond words. Charming. And has managed to do all the things that make me want to hide in the choir robe room for the duration of a Sunday Morning service.
For generations, young boys have discovered the thrills of wee-weeing in places other than that marvelous invention, the toilet. I have heard many tales of little fellows dropping their britches and proceed to water MeMaw’s rose bushes. I don’t know why I thought my son would be any different. First, there was the pee pee on the platform at church. One Wednesday night I had stayed home from church, laying in bed with some ailment. When Troy and Josiah came home, Josiah came into the bedroom and proudly informed me, “I went pee pee on the platform.” “Why?” I asked. “Why didn’t you go to the bathroom?” He scratched his baby soft hair and looked at me with those big dark eyes. “It was dark in there.” How could I argue with that? I wouldn’t like to tinkle in a dark room either. It became apparent however; that Josiah also used his pee pee has somewhat of a scientific experiment. One evening, at a ladies meeting, one of our little girls came and informed me that Josiah had wee-wee’ed down the floor drain in the woman’s bathroom. I found Josiah staring in amazement at the floor drain. The look on his face said it all…”What a cool place to use the potty!” A handful of paper towels and a bottle of disinfectant and a pop on his bare bottom soon dissuaded him of trying that little experiment again. Now in Josiah’s defense this happened when he was much younger. He is now a sophisticated 6-year-old.
Preacher’s kids spend hours upon hours at the church. Prayer meetings, work days, revivals…just ordinary “Dad needs to be in the office today” days. The church is our second home. I, myself a PK, am well acquainted with a bottle of pledge and how to dust a pew (work days). Josiah has learned to occupy himself, good or bad, during those times I can’t sit on him. For example, when he was littler and accompanied me to the weekly Morning Prayer meeting Josiah would flit from person to person, gathering any gum and candy he can. He played with the lights, swung imaginary golf clubs and sang to the praise music that comes through the speakers. Maybe all that praying done around him eventually rubbed off.
This week we’ve moved into a season of our lives that is oh-so-common for the pastor’s family. In the next few months we will be searching for a new position. That is the part I don’t like for my little guy. I wish we could offer him more permanency…Being a PK myself I can’t imagine how it must be to graduate from the same school you started kindergarten from. Oh well…I know God has a place for us. It’s my job not to let my uncertainty and conflict about this part of the life God has called us to affect my family.