(a) far away from a bathroom, and
(b) several minutes past the point of urgent.
When my son was 3 years old, we went for a walk near our cottage. My son possessed the unpredictable bladder of a typical young boy, and that day his announcement of the need to pee met both of the above criteria. He clutched himself and did the “I gotta pee” dance while my husband and I looked around. No Go-Huts in sight. No cottages of people we knew. Our cottage was too far away—he’d never make it. But there was a lovely stand of trees.
Before my son could accomplish his much-needed task, the owner of said stand of trees charged out of her house and berated us. “What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded to know. “Get out of here.”
Okay, I could understand if a grown man or a group of drunken carousers had intruded on her space, but my obviously desperate, and by then crying, 3-year-old? It seemed cruel to deprive my son of what is, really, the most natural act in the world. Did we all not start out peeing in the woods, for goodness sake?
I’m usually forgiving and compassionate. Not this time. I held a pretty good grudge. If you do something to hurt me, I forget it pretty quickly, but if you do something to hurt my kids, forgiveness is going to be a long time coming.
Flash forward several years. I walked along the same stretch of road with my dog. (Can you see where this is going?) At the same copse of trees, my dog began to circle in her “poop walk.” (I could not possibly have planned it.) She plunked a wonderful little steamer right in the spot where the witch on her broom had said my son couldn’t relieve his discomfort.
I was always über-conscientious about pooping and scooping. Not that day. I left that delicious little pile there and bounced away smiling.
Vengeance, oh, sweet smelly vengeance, was mine.
If this woman had not adopted such a rude, dismissive manner all those years earlier, I would not have let the unhappy present on her grove of trees. I wonder. If she had known on that first day that she was making a choice between the pee of a 3-year-old or the poop my Miniature Schnauzer/Shih Tzu, which would she have chosen?
What goes around comes around, and her nastiness came back to visit her.
Now, I’m just left to wonder. What I did was petty, small-minded and vengeful. When will that come full circle back to me?