When we were younger, road trips were an integral part of our lives. We’d throw all six kids in the back of the van, hook up a small TV with a VHS component (definitely back in the day) and drive wherever we needed to be. Often we’d drive all night, the kids sacked out in the back. John and I would talk or listen to music. If it got too exhausting, we’d pull into a rest area for a few hours.
None of that would work today.
Fast forward many years. Debbie, our youngest, is moving to North Carolina. She packed everything she could fit into her car, and she and I took off.
I adore my kids, and there’s tiny bits and pieces of me in each. Deb ended up with whatever was left–the outspoken, sarcastic parts. We’re so alike, and yet so very different Which makes any time with her a hoot and a holler.
Not a morning person, she’s reminded me on more than one occasion that speaking to her in the morning before she’s fully awake is futile.
I, on the other hand, am a morning glory. I wake up perky. And when fully caffeinated, I’m rather obnoxious.
We hadn’t been in the car but a few minutes and she turned her music on. I’m mired in a music warp a few decades past, so I didn’t know any of the tunes. She’s quietly humming. I’m trying desperately to be quiet. Let her have her space.
“Isn’t that the song that was…?
“Couldn’t last fifteen minutes, could you?”
And so it began.
We laughed most of the day. Neither of us are great long distance drivers. Deb gets tired and I get stiff. I want to stop and walk around. She wants more coffee. Stopping becomes necessary.
I got to drive several hours. Nobody ever lets me do that–I err on the side of speed. In my head I could hear my dear husband saying all the kids drive like I do. That’s true. I taught them. He didn’t want their driving skills on his conscience.
The downside was when I drove from early evening to dark. I have this small issue with night vision–I don’t have much. She’d drifted off and I still managed to terrify her.
I was grateful when she made me pull over and took the wheel.
We made an eight hour trip in just over ten hours.
Girl bonding time.
Spending time with Debbie was fun. Talking and laughing together. Teasing one another. There was some serious conversation, but enjoying my girl came from just being with her. I don’t love her for what she does for me. I love her because she’s mine.
This is how God sees His own. He delights in us, not because of what we do for Him, but because of what He’s already done for us out of love. Because of Jesus we’ve received the gift of life and forgiveness if we choose to accept it. We can’t do anything to earn it. It’s a gift to be received..
I become a reflection of His love.
That’s a pretty awesome parenting skill.