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.