A friend once told me, “The kind of peace that passes human understanding… and that may be your children.” She meant my children too, what she knew of them. I was touched at the time and I also knew there was a possibility of truth to this prophecy. This concept was with me today while I watched these little ones cope with a lot of time in the car, with a few car mishaps and money mishaps, with a lengthy shopping trip to a large fabric store, with more time in the car, more delays and mishaps. At one point in the boiling heat we finally made it to an outdoor pool after first getting lost – only to discover it was closed. Phoenix collected herself in the car and said, “OK – let’s try another.” Nels knelt down quietly in the grass and picked a small bunch of shaggy daisy and brought it to me, then we were back on the road.
Facing the I-5 freeway below us my daughter says, “Look at all that gleaming metal.” I am aghast. Then Nels says, “At least we had an easy time getting down here.” I am immensely cheered.
Their helpfulness and good spirits are all the more humbling as I am having a rough day with heat, traffic anxiety, and the kind of odd tension I get when I’m the only grownup on a roadtrip. I am oddly tearful and touched by their optimism and helpfulness, my son puffing up his thin chest to run and find me an iced coffee, my daughter serving as the navigator on the phone and putting her little hand on mine.
Cooling off before dinner. We are three of only a handful bathers at the soaking pool. Another family enjoys their company and their conversation – and a little later, I hear this mother whispering to her son, “Isn’t it obvious they are brother and sister?”
They are really lovely in a way I am so grateful to experience.