Drive Fast and Take Chances

Dear Darlings,

Have you ever found yourself in a really good place? A place where you feel loved and respected and just plain lucky? I was there yesterday and today. Actually, I’ve been there a lot lately. I’ve been feeling very lucky and appreciative for all of the people in my life. But I digress a little. Let’s go back to yesterday.

A scary storm raced through our neighborhood. The wind thrashed the towering trees in our back yard as rain and hail pelted our windows. Although looking out through the glass was a practice in futility because there was zero visibility. Lighting fired through the black skies, followed by thunder roaring overhead. The electricity faltered. It was out and then back on again. It was crazy-scary. I was trying hard to get out of the house for an indoor tennis match I was scheduled to play but there was not a snowball’s chance in hell I was going to get out while the weather raged and rampaged overhead. The storm only had so much ferocity in it, it was gone as quickly as it began.

I stepped gingerly out of the house, fully expecting another storm to come barreling through again. Luck was on my side and I was on my way to my tennis match. As I drove through our neighborhood and out onto the main thoroughfare I saw the limbs and loose leaves blown down in the melee. A small tree was uprooted not far out of our subdivision. And as I drove on a little further I saw another, much larger, tree down — completely uprooted. Evidence of the destruction Mother Nature wreaked continued as I drove further out. I knew another storm was forecast and I was just waiting for it to hit while I was gone. Lucas and Claire were home alone and I was hoping nothing would happen until I got home again.

Safely at the tennis courts I checked my phone to make sure the electricity was still on and that another round hadn’t started. This is the text that greeted me.

Lucas: Found the receipt. I’m going to get my new glasses. Then I am exchanging my keyboard.

My heart constricted for a minute. I didn’t want Lucas out driving the streets and getting caught in another torrential downpour full of lightning, thunder, hail and 40 mph wind gusts. So I did what I never do. I told him to drive safely. Normally I don’t say that. I don’t want my kiddos to feel suffocated and smothered. Sure I want them to know I expect them to drive safely, but I do it a backward kind of way. I always tell them (and everyone else I love) to, “Drive fast and take chances.” I guess I’m playing on that whole reverse-psychology thing. But yesterday I couldn’t do it so I sent this text instead…

Me: Okay. Be safe out there. It could get bad again. I only say it because I love you, not because I don’t trust your driving.

I added a kissy face emoji with a heart for good measure and hoped he wouldn’t be offended by my mama-bear instincts. Before my message could have reached Lucas I got another text from him. This is what he said.

Lucas: It isn’t raining anymore so it’s ok.

My heart swelled. I knew he was trying to reassure me.

He got my text, read it and responded with, “Love you too.”

Me: Thank you for reassuring me! You’re the best!

An hour and fifteen minutes later I got this text…

Lucas: I’m back, safe and sound.

And my heart swelled even bigger.

Thank you, Lucas, for stepping into an adult role yesterday and reassuring me. It was just what I needed. Your words made me feel so loved and lucky. I still do. It’s such a good feeling. I think I’ll hang on to it forever. I hope you do too.

With love,

Oh, for the love of my children…

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