Two weeks ago, at 5:00AM in Pop Century hotel room #7213, my 3 year old launched an epic meltdown that will probably be discussed by visitors to the greater Orlando area for years to come.
We deserved it. The day before we spent 15 years straight at Disney World with no nap and fed her sugar like a hummingbird to keep her going. The day before Disney we woke her up at 5:00AM and told her that we were going to Disney World instead of school, cue head explosion, and then drove 7 hours straight to Orlando. She was tired to say the least.
So when the meltdown erupted, which may or may not have involved a sleeping bag that had been tinkled on, (oh yeah she was sleeping on the floor to boot) I should have seen it coming. And I should have done a better job preparing my younger brother and his wife that a breakdown was imminent. They don’t have kids so they’re not used to screamo concerts so early in the morning. I felt really bad for him, which is certainly not an emotion I wrestled with much as an older brother when we were growing up.
When we were kids, we didn’t fist fight often, but concern for each other’s personal comfort was not high on the list of things we cared about. That was part of the reason Palm Sunday was such a blast. The rest of the year my parents were pretty dedicated to keeping sticks and any whip like implements out of our hands. But on Palm Sunday, we showed up at church and an usher essentially said, “Here you go, commence Palm branch fight.” I don’t know if those were his exact words but it’s been a long time so I’m a little fuzzy on the details.
And commence we did, whipping each other as hard as we could without catching dad’s eye from the pulpit since he preaching. The only problem was that the palms our church used were razor sharp. If you squeezed them too hard, they’d paper cut you. Like some sort of Samurai you had to hold the branch hard enough to elicit a flinch from your brother but tender enough that it did not wound you in the process.
Am I the only one that has this memory? Did you ever hit Sunday School classmates or siblings with the palm branches from Palm Sunday? Or was bringing them home and letting them dry out and disintegrate into a million pieces under your bed more your style? Or did you treat the palm branches as a historic symbol of the weeks leading up to a redemption that still rings true?
It was that last one wasn’t it? I’m embarrassed.