This mornings school drop off looked like it does most mornings. After the chaotic whirlwind of jackets, shoes, library bags and lunchboxes made its way to the car, belts were clicked and the CD player was turned on. I have had a long standing rule regarding the car and music: ‘my car, my music’. So far I’ve managed to ward off the tide of kids music and just plain bad music in the car. Because seriously, my house is awash with primary coloured plastic and lost socks. Surely the car can be mine.
It takes about 7 minutes to drive to school. We were a little early this morning and Praise the Lord our arrival at school coincided with The Civil Wars’ cover of ‘Billie Jean’ coming over the speakers. So I locked the car doors and told the girls to sit back and appreciate these extraordinary musicians and singers, let alone one of MJ’s best. Bless their hearts they know better than to try and avoid Mummy’s attempts to influence their musical tastes.
While the girls were imprisoned in the car, I glanced over at the car next to me and noticed a mum, who I know to be a lovely, faithful lady, jump out of her car, run to her boot and grab a blanket and a bible. She got back in her car next to her daughter, tucked the blanket over their knees and opened the Bible.
The contrast between what was going on in my car and the one next to mine was stark. And even though I cannot be certain as to what was going on in the other car, I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve the incarceration of children suffering through their mother’s musical appreciation classes.
I felt a momentary stab of guilt and shame that I too was not taking this prime opportunity to pray with my girls.
But the moment passed quickly. I will not apologise for the way my girls and I do life and faith together.
That is not our way. That is not our rhythm. Our school drop off routine involves loud and tuneless singing and discussions over pocket money. I will not pretend to be a mother I am not. Let’s be honest, I’m lucky to get out of the house without raising my voice at least once most mornings. And yet my girls know that I am their greatest advocate, their loudest fan, their ceaseless prayer and their safest place. Faith is found entangled amongst our loud laughter and rowdy car trips. We stumble over each other and we are not always kind. But we are sure of each other and of our God. Our rhythm is far from melodic for anyone outside our little family, but to me it is sweet and fun and full of glittering colour.