Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mama Bean cannot be a back seat driver

There will be days where only the word abandoned can describe the way you feel.  Left.  Forgotten.  These days will come, and have most certainly come before, but it is on these days we must remember that one day, someone will come along and find you again.  Find you, and when they do, they will find beauty in your cracked boards, grace in the rust you are bathed in and hope in the nails that still stick out, reaching for the sky.  -Tyler Knott, Abandoned Window on Abandoned Wall
The other day, PB and I had a little back-and-forth in the car, trying to figure out how to get out of the city for a day-trip to the beach. He asked which way he should go, and I gave him two options, and he said he didn't know which one to take, and I refrained from making the decision for him, so then we got a bit side-tracked, had to make a few extra turns in our city's spaghetti-like streets (The Prairie Valley City has never seen a right-angled intersection it didn't want to mangle somehow.)

And as it turned out, what he meant was he actually didn't know where to go at all and wanted explicit directions. And as it turns out, I'm loath to give those.

Why? Because I am traumatized by a life of watching my parents argue about back seat driving. I don't have to say this, I think I start to half explain before he says, yeah yeah I know.

And then, half joking, "Geez, stop being broken."

And I just laughed and laughed. (If only it were that easy, right?) Noone understands me like him, and it makes my heart swell. When he found me, I was already broken, and he thought I was beautiful. And two, three years later, when he was actually getting to know me, he still thought I was beautiful - cracked and desperate, half a country away, terribly alone and depressed. He has loved me and still loves me through so much brokenness, we can laugh about it.

I don't have it in me to be a back seat driver, because I am so tired and scared of car fights. (Fighting in the car is hella-awful, right? Because noone can go anywhere, you're all just stuck looking out the windows, waiting for the tension to get sucked out the vents...) But in so studiously avoiding it, we still had this "fight." If it weren't for love, if it weren't for the grace to see through to each others' heart-words... well, there'd be no winning, no redemption. Just another set of kids looking out the windows...and I tell you what, I refuse to do that to my children.

Here's what car fights taught me, about driving and otherwise - there are very few directional choices that are irredeemable. It doesn't matter which route you choose, you'll still get from Point A to Point B - and in the grand scheme of life, it doesn't even matter if it took you 5 minutes longer. (We were always late, as a family, anyway. I cannot describe to you how useless this fighting was, when we were always late to get there anyway.)

What matters is the quality of the drive, y'know?

Did you know Sunday mornings happen even if you're not going to church? What I mean is, you know how sometimes (often) (every week) getting ready for church feels like pulling teeth, feels like pulling yourself and your children through molasses, and everyone's kind of useless and crabby and speaking in grunts instead of words? And then you're all sullen driving to church, parking at church, walking into church, but it's all smiles as soon as your palm meets greeter's palm?

Though we're not going to church right now, this Sunday was still like that; getting ready for our day-trip to the beach, but we're all molasses-useless. It was really bizarre. But this little back-and-forth totally cut through that crap, this weird moment of how-deep-how-well-we-love.

And guess what, side-tracked and all, we still got to the beach. No driving mistake is irredeemable, you'll still get from Point A to Point B. You'll still find the beach. (Even broken people get found.)

(I know this post all about me me me, but... well, Happy Birthday PB)

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