When my girls were much smaller, younger than they are now, we had a neighborhood carpool in which the parents took turns driving the kids to school and picking them up at the end of the day. It worked well because we were all busy working families and the extra set of hands helped. It worked well because there is always that kid in the carpool who can be counted on to spill it – to really, in great detail tell you about the day, the happenings at school, who likes whom, who is mad at whom, who got in trouble again – you just have to sit quietly, act like you aren’t paying attention and file the information away. I learned a lot during those short drives! There is always that kid! Thank goodness.
As children exited the car in the morning I would silently say, “Lord, bless them and keep them. Make your face to shine upon them.” (Numbers 6 24-26) What a beautiful thought – that of our God smiling on children. I really can’t think of anything more amazing! The loving Creator of all that is blessing, keeping and shining on our children, all of our children.
While the carpool kids are all grown, moved on and moved away, I find myself returning to the practice without really thinking about it on occasion.
It happened this week. I spent 24 hours with oldest child at a beach a few hours away from where we live to have her bridal portraits taken. It has been years since we have had time – just us! It was marvelous. I admit – I got a bit weepy! She is stunning – she is grown. She no longer says, “jampas” for pajamas. I forget how funny, strong and wise she is. Those 24 hours gave us the opportunity to listen, share stories and be reminded of why our connection is so strong. We spent a great deal of time talking about hopes, about dreams…about her plans.
What a gift time is. A simple, profound gift that allows us to give ourselves to the person we are with in real and significant ways. To leave each other changed, altered merely through our willingness to be present and embrace the person before us. I think we have to be intentional about these moments. We are so busy and life is so loud – but the important moments, the important times often happen while sitting on a deck, beside a river sharing a meal – talking, laughing and being. I am grateful for time! I am grateful for oldest child! Love that kid!
As she pulled away that morning, unbidden the practice from her childhood popped in my head and heart, “Lord bless You and Keep You; The Lord Make His Face to Shine Upon You And Be Gracious to You!”
May it be so for all the children of God.