Once there was a young mom. Well, young-ish. Okay, middle-ish mom with small children. Medium children. Okay, once there was a mom who drove to the lake with her husband and kids and their big plastic canoe strapped to the top of their van. This mom decided to drink a large quantity of sweet tea before arriving at the lake with the canoe and the lack of bathrooms.
Sweet tea is the magical nectar of the South, but it's also the diuretic from hell. The devil went down to Georgia and while he was rosining up his bow and challenging Johnny to a duel, he also put something in our tea that makes us spend half a day in the bathroom. The full name of sweet tea is actually sweet daisies I've gone to the bathroom nineteen times today tea. True story.
As her husband unloaded the canoe from the top of the car and the kids splashed on the shoreline of the lake, the mom despaired of The Bladder that Pregnancy Killed. She used to be able to hold her water with the best of them, but as payment for birthing a human, her bladder was basically a leaky store-brand sandwich baggy. She looked longingly at the nearby woods and thought to herself, if only she could sneak off to those inviting trees just for a moment.
One moment in time. She heard Whitney Houston calling to her. Give her one moment in time, when she's racing with destiny, then in that one moment of time, she would be, she would be, she would be free. Free from pee.
Just one moment. If she could just race over, find a spot out of the way, and cast out the hateful sweet tea that had run through her like a juggernaut, if she could just find a moment and the right spot, then all her problems would be over forever. She, too, could frolic and be the amazing mom of which she was capable, but for the blinding torment of the tea-filled teeny bladder.
Before her she had a choice. Seize her moment, or risk hanging her butt over the side of the canoe later on. What if she fell in the lake? Canoes are tricky buggers, because they seem relatively easy-access until you’re trying to hoist your waterlogged self back in while treading water and muttering anti-leech incantations.
She decided to risk the woods. Taking off along the tree line, she scanned the parking lot for witnesses. The four parked school buses seemed empty, to her relief. No one wants jail time for mooning a school field trip. Although in jail they do have bathrooms right there in the cells, she mused.
The cars, trucks, and boat tows were all empty as well. The nearby houses, empty. She was clear. The universe was practically begging her to drop trou. Donning her oversized sunglasses and keeping a sharp eye out for camera phones, she ducked into the woods. As she began to skid downhill in her flip flops, she realized that her haven was actually a steep ravine and she could not hide as far in as she liked.
She settled for a large tree on the edge of the ravine, and squatting down, she deftly scooted her Nike shorts out of the way and blasted out the evil sweet tea. The yellow drained out of her eyes, her vision cleared, and her breathing returned to normal. Praise God through whom all blessings flow, and hers was flowing straight down into that ravine.
She didn't even consider the pine needle toilet paper lying to her right and left, because this was not her first rodeo and she knew what that meant. Pine sap and pokey needles had no business up in her business and she trusted that the wicking fabric of the shorts she got on the clearance rack at Ross would work its magic. Wick away the evidence, sporty shorts.
Life was good again. As she bounded out of the woods with a spring in her step, her heart plunged when she saw the man in the car right in front of her eating a sandwich and smiling at her. Oh crap of holiness. How did she miss him? Had he been there the whole time? Why was he smiling at her? This was no time for eye contact.
Many thoughts vied for attention in her racing brain:
First, step confidently like you're not embarrassed in the least. Work it, work it, own it. You've got this. You're not ashamed. Yeah, you did that, and you’d do it again.
Second, without looking back at the trees from whence you came, how far in was that spot you chose? Was there ample coverage?
Third, at what angle was this guy seeing you squat? You were low, he was higher up, so he was looking down at you. Top of your head? Pants around the ankles? Naked white bum? How bad was this?
Fourth, he had a sandwich in one hand. What about the other one? Was he holding a phone? Did he work for Park Pee-er Patrol (P.P. Patrol for short) and he's on the lookout for miscreants like me?
She smiled ruefully back, prayed to Jesus that he didn't care and/or have a camera phone, and kept walking, rejoining her family and taking up her seat at the front of the canoe.
Did someone snap off photographic proof? Is this event immortalized in someone's Facebook album? Is she a peeing gif on the interwebz?
She may never know. But one thing she does know, moms should get a pass for public peeing. Maybe like three freebies a year, so it doesn’t get out of hand.
Photo by Lottie Caiella.