Those one-of-a-kind-days are personal, even if they do blend like a glass of water tossed into a river to folks who can’t see the significance in the particular day of another’s life.
She looked just like another car on the road of life, blending into civilization and traffic like another leaf falling in Autumn. It was another Monday and she was just another commuter running later than she had planned. Some of it her fault, although she blamed her alarm clock, some of it my fault.
We have a tradition and I wasn’t going to be yielding the importance of it or the significance of the day to time. I was proud of her as I watched her pull away. I was a little nervous for her. I thought about all the other days like this one; she was so young she can’t remember the first ones.
I have to admit I worry a bit and am always concerned about her safety as she slipped into anonymity on the busy city streets. I was also somber… Of all the years of our tradition and practice I knew that would be the last one.
I smiled inside at how clean the car was. The sun sparkled off the rims that until the day before looked more like giant chocolate donuts. I stood in the driveway remembering the day before; a triple digit Arizona afternoon and her, less than thrilled to be forced by her dad to run the car through the budget car wash.
Lucky for us one of her favorite businesses and hangout for kids her age was right next door to the car wash. We stood in the sweltering outside line exchanging small talk. We talked about different colleges, and some of the treacherous highways it takes to get to them. We strolled back slowly to the car wash, her sipping her green tea and me my hot coffee that I thought was crazy to consume in the desert heat when I was her age… like she does now.
I hung around the house that morning, the special day, one of those minor milestone days. She was anxious and in a rush to get out of the house and even more so when I first asked her if she wanted to pray.
Our youngest’s first reaction was less than appreciative, but her demeanor changed quickly. She knew the significance of the day and the importance of our actions that goes supernaturally beyond a ritual.
The three of us, my wife, youngest daughter, and I huddled up in the hallway like we’ve done for a decade and a half now as I prayed for her on her first day of school. It was the first day of her last year in high school.
There will be different days and each one will bring reasons to pray. I thought about all the prayers that I’ve sent up on my family’s behalf… it quickly dawned on me how often I’ve forgotten or taken the answer to those prayers for granted.
May the days that stand out, and all the others that blend like watercolors in the rain, paint a breathtaking rendering of the hand and grace of God in the lives of His beloved… including my little one in the car with the rims that tend to look like giant chocolate donuts…