"Come on, Mom, we're going on a field trip."
It was after 11:00 and I had just gotten up from bed to start the laundry load forgotten earlier, aggravated at myself but knowing she needed "that" shirt and "those" shorts by 7:00 a.m. Goodness-and-Everybody knows I wasn't getting up at five to get it done! Another time I would've let her handle her own Urgent Laundry Needs, but since she had a bright shiny new job robbing hours from her previously hyperactive social calendar, I extended oodles of grace toward her. She'd have what she needed, clean and on time.
I turned to look her in the eye, certain I had misunderstood.
She took my hand, insistently and softly cooing, "We're going on a field trip."
Shooing webs from my sleepy head, I marveled–when had my 17-year-old daughter mastered a beguiling smile, seductive yet Ivory-pure? My pillow called in the distance but there was no choice but to follow. Her younger brother, an eavesdropper, followed this Pied Piper, curiosity, an inescapable magnet.
"Shotgun!" he called as she opened her driver's side door; I smiled to remember when that mattered to me. "Where are we going?" his need to know, insatiable; "You'll see," her voice winked in the dark. I had an inkling but I waited in silence, content to live in the moment.
We rolled the windows down; conditioned air couldn't compete. I closed my eyes and savored the feel of night wind on my face, tangling my hair. It smelled of Summer and youth and the South.
She put the car in park and I opened my eyes to see we were on top of the world. The unimaginative would see it as the highest point in our neighborhood.
On cue, light exploded behind cloud.
We crowded through the sun roof–moon roof?–to gain a better vantage point and stood hushed–in worship–fully appreciating the force and beauty of Creation. These are the times I'm certain God delights in the delight of his children, pleased to demonstrate he is God and we are not. What contrivance of man can compare to silent, sky-filled fire-art? I can think of none.
Minutes pass. She brings the engine to life and our feet back to the ground. I can't take my eyes off the night sky and I'm indulged with icing on this cake–a star falls! No one else sees and I'm sad about that, this rarity a wonder-wrapped gift.
Home, I squeeze and thank her and declare "Sweet dreams or no dreams" as we all head to bed.
Unspoken words crowd my heart. They come in prayer-thanks and though I'm not a believer in "luck" I feel like the luckiest mother on the planet.
I have a child who shares a kindred space, who sees the extras in the ordinaries, who understands that it's life's fleeting moments that matter most.
It's one for the book.
Lovely. Truly lovely, Robin.
wow. they invite us in every day, don’t they? wonderful.
How wonderful! Certainly a night you won’t soon forget.
Oh to have older teens like her – wow. So special! And I’ve been meaning to comment on that post about the book – I must get one for myself!! So lovely.
Thank you! If you had been in this moment, you would KNOW how perfectly your words fit!
Ah…Kelly…if we only have eyes to SEE, ya know? (And thank you.)
Not if I have control over that!! 🙂
How do you do it? ONE tiny word from you and my spirit soars! That, I love!!
This is the one I lost; I was 80% done. Usually I do what you do–walk away, rarely to recover my thought. In this instance, the moment was still so vivid, present…and I was determined to pen it while still the case. So glad you got to read it!!! 🙂 xo
“it smells of summer and youth and the south.” I know that smell. Every now and then I roll down the windows and for a fleeting moment I catch that smell & I’m seventeen again driving down the road with the windows open and nowhere to be at any certain time.
(I’m confused – was it lightening? The story is perfect but my brain wants to know!)
Oh, Amber…you spotted one of my favorite lines of this piece! Two points for you!! You COMPLETELY understand this moment–a kindredness for us, too!
And to satisfy your inquiring mind, yes ma'am, it's heat lightning…and it was spectacular :).
Ooooh. That rocks! What a fun kid you have. And how wonderful that she is close enough to her mom to share moments like that. I hope my four girls turn out that good!
Thanks so much for re-writing this (I saw on Twitter that it got lost the first time). You’re right, it was definitely worth it!
I’m glad you found your post. This memory is definitely one you needed to write down! So vivid and beautiful.
Oh, how lovely. Thank you for rewriting it and sharing this precious moment!
It’s the ordinary moments that are extraordinary. Thanks for sharing yours.
I read this post this morning and thought it was outstanding. Then, this afternoon, as my kids were playing outside, my 5 year old shouted, “LOOK at those clouds! Aren’t they amazing?” I looked up and they were beautiful. I had been taking pictures of the kids. I shot a picture of the sky. I love the vision that kids have. Sometimes-more often than not- I need to see the world like they do.
I have 2 girls and cannot wait to be writing things like this!