In Cars With Boys On An Ordinary Day

By | February 17, 2015

Feet are ready to walk but school is far nowadays so driving it is. For now… But driving has its charm when you drive children. A wee bit of music, sleepy words snaking their way through the foggy morning air, buckle up and go…

Grey‘Do you see the hills?’ you ask as you drive down the hill and little boy says yeah with a sleepy voice and you think he just says it to be polite but then, just like a small bird taking sudden flight, his words come out chirpy-jolly… ‘Mama, look at the light on that hill…Is that the sun? Is it rising now? We can see the sunrise?’

Which one do you answer first? You listen, the chirping continues but now it’s something else. Words and their meanings, things to do when back from school, plans for later, homeschooling, making sense of a world too big, too small, so beautiful and present…

You drive slower just to catch some more time, you love the time with little boy tucked into the back seat, chirping or sitting quietly, listening, thinking, learning…

Hug, kiss, have a good day, you see him walk into the school yard with the big backpack on. You want him to stay, to chirp some more, to ask you of your favourite season, again and again…’I like summer,’ he says when you ask. But he delights in icicles too, you remind him, hanging off drippy awning, time frozen… you tease him, he smiles, he loves that… silly fuzzy morning thoughts you wrap yourself in on the drive home.

You love the time with little sleepy boy, his chirps and tiny laughter clinging to frosty windows, melting the white icy fuzz so the world outside becomes clearer. It always does when children laugh.

Later on, the drive home with so much that happened in the time you weren’t there. ‘Why’ abounds, and you try your best, and you also shrug and say ‘I don’t know’ and little boy still thinks you know everything anyway as if you put the world together from one end to the other… you secretly delight in that, in the love that gives you more than you ever imagined. ‘Are you singing, mama?’ Yes, I am, you say… it’s a song your grandma loved. You make a mental note to learn all words soon enough.

Later on, big boy hops in, you drive in the dark, you listen to music and he does too, you hum and he asks softly ‘Are you singing, mama?’ You smile and say yes, almost adding that you don’t know all the words, but before you get a chance to say it he says with a smile ‘I like that.’ This is not about perfect lyrics anyway.

It is turning dark and the sky is burning with colours so alive you feel grateful for having the chance to see them. ‘Mama, I love the sky…’ The day falls asleep on the horizon, slipping behind it like a child’s arm falls off his mama’s shoulder when asleep…

You’re on your way, again, driving, going places – what a busy day today is – but you get to see it, you get to see the wonder of it all. There’s wonder in ordinary, small things… Big boy sees it too and he talks about things that are not easy to talk about.

You whisper almost in response, your voice is low and all there, and if your heart were the ground he could walk on, your voice was the fence to help keep him safe… until he is ready to open the gate and fly. Free of things that cling hard to his wings; you help him peel them away. Again, and again, one step closer to lightness. Today is good and soft and the sunset is now over with; night settles in and you’re almost there… ‘Let’s park and talk, mama’.

You talk, and he talks, and silly jokes come in uninvited and you laugh silly, and he laughs too and you can see the heaviness falling off his wings… You talk about dreams and fears and growing towards tomorrow, knowing that being human comes with joys and struggles, often times too big to take on by himself; you talk, he talks, stars are plentiful and you feel happy for no particular reason, but because you find peace in knowing you’re right there, to hear the words, to soothe worries and to laugh silly. To have thoughts merge, sighs chased away with hugs. See you later you say and drive home thinking of them boys… ‘Today was good and it’s not over yet.’

You are all alone now, listening to songs your mom loved, you miss her so much, and her voice, but it’s all there, inside, a pocket of bitter sweetness you can reach into anytime, pockets of souls that are made of all that you cannot explain but know it present. Life. You’re grateful and quiet, you listen to songs and then you learn words… later on, you pick up big boy and he chirps away, fears gone and words flying high like kites that nothing can bring down. Nothing? Not today. And that is good enough.

You listen, he talks, you smile, he talks and laughs, you love his presence right next to you; his laughter clings onto the windows like a bug with sticky feet, sweet and fragile… you’ll remember it all in the morning when little boy will take his place, sleepy and slow, in the back seat, ready to see the sun, the hills, to listen and chirp away, to laugh… again, and again, melting the frost. And you’ll be there, and you’ll be reminded that gratefulness is a celebration of life, and no day is ordinary, and no time too short to make it count…

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