It’s two in the afternoon and I drive to her school with a gloomy heart. That day was the fourth visit to a concussion specialist to help resolve her head pain after a sports collision.
I don’t mind the hour-long drive to a specialist. It’s the anticipated attitude and entitlement snippets coming from our tween that I can’t stand. These nasty noshes peck at my peace and seem to have slipped into the house when we were all sleeping.
“Mom, turn the radio to my station,” she barked. “No. We’re going to have some quiet conversation,” I said (trying to remain calm.) “Oh. Well, can I sing you some of the songs for our upcoming school concert?” she offered. Even before I could say a silent prayer of thanks to the Lord, the car concert began. And it was lovely. As she passed through the early American ballads and swing style songs for the concert (staid, non-controversial fare, innocuous enough), she ended with, “Now would you like to hear my song from camp last summer?”
“Yes!” And the funny, entirely accurate lyrics in Francesca Battistelli’s song were music to my weary ears. “This is the stuff that drives me crazy, This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately. In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I’m blessed…” surrounded me with the calm and perspective I needed. It was a gift from the Lord and a reminder to stay the course, no matter how trying parenting can be.
Later that evening, when she was showering and I was putting away clothes in her closet, I heard her sing a pitch perfect current rendition of “Amazing Grace.” “Did you like my song?” she asked.
“Of course I did! How did you know that was my favorite song?” I praised. “Oh, Mumsy,” she said with the tiniest bit of tween intonation, “I do listen to you. I hear you humming the tune sometimes.”
Oh my goodness. As I always suspected, our children hear and see everything. So every time I try to stay calm, turn the noise down, or refuse to answer my cellphone while driving, and a million other things that seem an effort at the time, I know I’m doing the right thing.
Thank you, Lord, for the music we hear right when we need to hear it.