drivers seatI wish I could say I did it with grace, that every time my heart was pure and I was perfect, but I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence, not to mention I gave up lying to myself a long time ago. I have been better than I used to be that last few years though, still not perfect, but I could see the end was in sight and wanted to finish well.

I wonder how much time I’ve spent sitting in my trucks over the years, waiting for daughters who were never ready on time… There wasn’t any way for me not to count how many minutes I’d sit waiting impatiently for them. Sometimes I’d tell them, sometimes wisdom would prevail, not often enough, but occasionally I’d keep my mouth shut.

After I’d moved us north and a long way from the three different schools the girls were in, that inconveniently started at close to the same time, it was impossible for my wife to get all three of them to school. That’s way past the ten year time frame that marks the beginning of my stint as a daughter hauler.

I knew, even back then, that it would one day come to and end, that they’d, Lord willing, all someday grow up, take the driver’s seat, and drive themselves to school. The oldest drove herself back and forth from college, now to work, and just today, her mom and herself to the bridal shop in search of a wedding dress. The middle drove herself back and forth to college as well and still makes the drive to see us from the city she stayed to work in.

But before they were all grown up, we shared the cab of my different trucks over the years, struggled to sometimes sound civil to one another. They would sometimes turn their heads away from me to answer the questions that I knew might make them roll their eyes in frustration.

This week marks the last week of school for the youngest, she turns sixteen in a couple of weeks… she and my days of torment are coming to an end. There have been good days and bad days, silent mornings and others that were filled with  words, music, sometimes singing, and an occasional bet on who could get the closest to guessing how cold the temperature would register by the time we got to school. Then in the warm days of the year, how hot it would get.

Regardless how imperfect the day or the dad, the ritual always ended with a kiss on the side of my daughter’s head, carefully so as to not mess up the hair, and the, “Have a good day, love you, babe.”

“Love you too, dad,” she’d answer, even when she wouldn’t be in the mood to.

I’m truly going to miss that… I think it’s in the day to day rituals that we grind against any and all obstacles and odds that show true love. It’s in the love we show with our actions  in our imperfect world that we reflect our Father’s perfect love.

I would have never been my choice to take my girls to school, but in my imperfect choices in this life, I find God’s perfect love and plans for redemption in my life… glad He chose my girls to show me… I’d have never known what I had missed.

I find it’s like that with most things in this life; our stumbling He turns into a beautiful dance.