The Road

March 6, 2014 

We were going to take him home. 

At Sunday school there was a scene involving not wanting to participate in a game. Foam tiles were thrown. There was loud yelling. Apologies did not happen. At least not until he was buckled in and informed we would not be going to our small group, home of fellow pre-schooler with awesome toys. Tears, pleading, and apologies and finally we agreed. More for us than him - because we knew we were expected and there were big things to discuss regarding our church's future. 

The children played outside on an unseasonably warm Sunday. Snow was forecast for the morning and no one wanted to miss it. The adults talked on the screened porch. Caught up in discussions going nowhere and leaving us frustrated near the end we suddenly noticed our son running near the front street. I stood up and headed for the door. What was he thinking? All those tearful promises to be good and follow the rules if we let him go after that disastrous morning. And now this? And this.... then I saw.... our host's one year old. Toddling on the grass beside the road. Our son blocking him from going off the grass. A car approaching. Full disclosure: I may have been over-zealous in explaining the possible peril of running in parking lots or streets without holding someone's hand and he is simply terrified of cars. And there he was standing alone beside a road with a car approaching. Unmoving because if he moved that baby might step out in front of that car. And when the baby was grabbed up and squeezed tearfully and tight. When we all ran toward him yelling he ran in fear thinking he was in trouble because he had failed us. He had gone near the road, broken a rule and there were consequences. Eventually as we hugged him and explained how proud we were his fear turned to quiet pride. By the time we told the waitress about his heroics over his celebratory brownie sundae he had begun demurring, "I just saved a baby."  Just. 

When the tale of your life is told, son. I hope I will have and retold this story so much it is simply part of your being. You were only four. Terrified of cars. Told to stay out of the road or you'd be in trouble. But you saw what no one else saw. And you stepped into that road and saved that baby. We didn't notice him. We noticed you. Your loud yelling. Your presence. The cars noticed you, too, I'm sure. Tall as a six year old. Wild golden curls. A voice that carries. But would they have noticed what you did...... would we have seen.... would.... But we never need to ask, what if? Because you were there. You. In all your line-crossing. You who could spot a crying baby or sad animal across a mall as a toddler. You see what we miss and I miss what you are as I grit my teeth and wish you ordinary. Within the lines. Back in the yard with the other kids where you were supposed to be. Following the rules of the game. God whispered to me as I drove home tonight. Don't you think I know how I made your son. He will see what others miss, stand in unlikely places and raise his voice for those who can't.

And I thought of all we adults, talking and afraid of decisions and loss and change and uncertainty. If my four year old can face his fears perhaps i should too. If my child can see the baby in the road is worth breaking rules and risking everything for - why can't I? How can I look into those eyes and tell him I saw something that wasn't right and let fear keep me on the side of the road, paralyzed. If I'm going to live worthy of my calling to raise this child, my little knight, I must. I simply must. Because when the tale of my life is told, the moments of silent acquiescence will be forgotten or regretted and the times I was terrified, and stepped out anyway - those will be altars. 

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 I'm a designer, wife and mother of two.  I post my work and on the places where creativity and life’s clutter intersect. Looking for inspiration and finding balance.  Join me on the journey.

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TwitterRachel4My name is Rachel. Good to meet you. I like caramel coffee, the way patterns of light or color or ideas fit together, and mornings at the ocean. Dislikes include: political ads, conspicuous wealth and mornings in general. Together, my husband Buddy and I are daily challenged and blessed as we raise two children and run one business: By His Designs.

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