Dear Lord, Zeus, Odin, Yahweh, Buddha, or whichever title you prefer to go by. It’s me, Papa Cheeks. Are you listening?
As you know, I’ve recently embarked on a quest to train your two greatest and wildest creations in the fine art of toilet-going. As you also know, I have found myself in alternating states of terror, frustration, and discouragement throughout the course of the process. I have reached out to others who have already walked this road, and their support and wisdom has been greatly appreciated. Still, as I wiped the poo off my hands the other day after yet another failed attempt to plant the child upon the toilet before release, I realized that there was one source of knowledge, hope, and inspiration I had not yet turned to; yourself.
Please understand that I do try to turn to you for help in only those instances where the circumstances are truly dire. I know how you like to help those who help themselves, and I think it’s pretty low-class to ask for things like money, fame, luxury, or the destruction of my enemies. I have Santa Claus for all those things. You’re not a genie, and I respect that.
So, you must understand how desperate I am. I could really use some divine intervention here, especially seeing as how this is all your fault.
Now before you smite me with a lightning bolt straight to the part of the body that my children can’t seem to understand is supposed to stay on the toilet until business is concluded, please hear me out. I give you full credit for all of the marvels of the natural world; the earth we trod upon, the sun that provides us warmth and tan-lines, the wind that used to run through my hair when I had it, the water that I would drink more of if caffeine were not so vital to my continued ability to function. All of these beautiful miraculous things I offer my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for. However, I do want to point out one teeny, tiny design flaw you overlooked.
You made it so everyone has to poop and pee.
I keep scratching my head on this one. You already had a perfectly beautiful system in place for living creatures to take in sustenance and eliminate waste: photosynthesis. I don’t understand why we’re not solar-powered. I don’t understand why we don’t release fresh air back into the atmosphere after consuming ten times our suggested daily caloric intake. Why aren’t we crapping oxygen, Lord? Why can’t we emit fragrant, useful gas instead of the horrid, toxic leftovers from the five or six soft tacos that some people eat for lunch? You did the plants FIRST. You had the system down! I know it seems kinda sorta blasphemous for me to question you here, but I’ve never thought of you as the kinda guy who easily takes offense. “The strongest faith is the one tested” and all that. So Lord, why did you have to take something so small and cute and wondrous and decide to ruin it by having it crap all over me? Is this the Adam and Eve thing? I wasn’t there. I totally would have stopped her, I swear.
I’m sorry, Heavenly Father. I’m just a bit frazzled with the whole thing. It’s no good to question your will. The healthiest thing to do is just accept what is, and then get on my hands and knees and beg you for a deus ex machina.
Seriously. The oral traditions and written words of nearly every culture that ever was is replete with stories of when you stepped in and saved hapless man from disaster. Anytime now would be great. I’m not asking you to make them poop gold or anything, or to speed up evolution to the point where my boys become telepathic higher-beings who have advanced far beyond the need to eliminate pee-pee and poo-poo. Maybe just send one of your angels to take over and help them through the process.
You know who would be great? Burgess Meredith. Specifically, Burgess Meredith as Mickey from Rocky I and II. The greatest cinematic boxing coach of all time. Who could be more inspirational that that?? Just look at this wisdom! It’s like he’s talking directly to me!!
I feel better already.
Just imagine!! We could have a glorious montage where Mickey helps me turn the boys into toilet bowl crushing champions! And just like a montage, this should only take about 2 to 3 minutes, tops. I think that this is a personally reasonable request. I don’t feel like I’m asking for too much.
Okay. I’ve done what I can. I’ve supplicated and bowed to your gentle mercy. That should take care of it. I’m just going to call home real quick and ask Momma Angel if Mickey’s there yet. I’ll give you a minute.
Okay, not there yet. Atmospheric re-entry is tricky. No problem. I can wait. I’ll give it another two minutes.
Still not there.
You’re going to make me do this myself, aren’t you?
I understand. This is obviously a test. You want to make me a better, stronger father by enduring these trials and conquering them on my own. I get it. You know best. No problem. I’ll do that.
Thanks. I really mean it. You’re great to have listened. I really appreciate it, along with all the the blessings you’ve bestowed upon me in life – my job, my health, my friends, my family, and above all else Momma Angel and the boys. Seriously, thanks so much. You have granted me much more grace than I rightfully deserve. You are magnificent, and I am so, so blessed to know you in my life.
That said, if you change your mind you know where to find us. Just saying.
For progress reports, follow “Fatherhood in the Trenches” on Instagram at fatherhood_in_the_trenches or on twitter @jmwilson3055. Prayers are also appreciated.