Lessons from an Elevator

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The following is a guest post from Andrea Anderson, who blogs at Whispers in the Silence. I love the lessons from this story, and I could totally see this happening to me and my boys! Read on . . .

Courtney's recent post on her boys' favorite books brought to mind this story with my two oldest boys. As a parent, you quickly realize life with children is filled with mishaps - some resulting in tears, but I think many more that bring forth belly laughs...and I do enjoy a good hearty chuckle. To get you in the mood for this story, carry with you images from the movie, "Home Alone." It may help with the visuals. :)

One evening last fall, my husband took Reese (then 5 1/2) and Luke (then 4) to the library.


It's one of our favorite outings with the kids - free and abounding with educational opportunities. I also had asked Dave to return a few books with impending due dates.

Books in hand, he and the boys headed into the library and opted to take the elevator (because it has buttons, and boys and buttons seem rather made for each other) to the children's section on the second floor. Just as the "two" button was pushed, Dave realized he still had the to-return books in his hands. Since the return bin was steps away from the elevator doors, Dave asked Reese to hold the “door open” button while he ran 25 feet to put the books into the return bin. Sensible solution, right? Totally something I would have done.

Except, the doors didn't stay open.

As Dave dropped the books in the bin, he heard Reese yell, “Dad, the door’s closing. The door’s closing!” Bang. Closed.

In one second flat, both boys began yelling and stamping their feet as the elevator lifted off; the circulation desk people stared at Dave, mouths agape. Dave calmly says, “Well, I guess I’d better take the stairs to the second floor” and began running up the stairs to the sounds of the very audible yelling of our boys.

Dave reached the second floor as the elevator doors opened. Reese and Luke spilled out in tears. Thankfully, the bathrooms were at hand for the boys to take a moment and calm down.

Back at home, Reese starting telling me the story with Dave clarifying a few of the details. When he got the part of imitating the boys (we could picture them looking at each other, eyes wide and yelling, "AAAAAHHHHH!") all of us couldn't help but laugh hysterically over it. Reese got a big kick over this retelling. Luke still called it a "bad adventure" but managed a few giggles. I want to assure you that we only were able to find abundant humor in the situation because this library is like a second home to the boys and they were never in any danger. This is not something Dave would have done in a building where he didn't have immediate access to the elevator doors by means of the stairs or in a place unfamiliar to the boys

Lesson learned for Dave and I: Never assume the "Door Open" button will do what it says.

Lesson learned for the boys: There is a reason why Dad and Mom want you to wait until they are right beside you before pressing any elevator buttons and boarding the elevator. (Before this incident, I had more than a few hair-raising experiences of one child racing to push the button and get inside, while the other children decided to go in different directions. And it's really hard to decide who to go after first, especially when encumbered by a stroller, and bags, and books - the standard ensemble for a mom with young children :) )

Lesson of faith: I think the boys panicked because they could not see Dave when the doors closed. Although they'd ridden that same elevator and arrived at that same floor countless times, the experience became scary when their dad was not right by their side. Yet, when the doors opened, there he was, ready to comfort them and reassure them of his presence. How many times, I've been on that ride - panicking when I cannot feel the presence of my heavenly Father, uncertain He'll meet me at my destination, choosing fear over trust. And though the elevator ride changes and the destination is unknown, I must remember He is always in the building and never loses sight of where I'm headed. And when I seek Him with all my heart, by Him I will be found.

"...and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter 1:8b-9)



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One Response to “Lessons from an Elevator”

  1. Funny story and great lessons learned from it! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete