Everyone warned me - these kids were going to go ballistic when they left their mom. My heart melted a little bit when the little guy practically raced into my arms at daycare; it was like he knew where we were headed. We gathered up all the day's things (and mercy! the day has so many papers and mittens and shoes and stray toys) and then we gathered sister and got into the car.
I had been told they didn't do well in the car, especially little Mr. Man. But apparently the other folks didn't know the secret. The little fusses almost immediately died down when we set out on the road and I cranked the tunes.
It was like magic.
I saw heads bopping and I think I heard a few notes floating around in the backseat, too. We got into a groove, those kiddos and me. I finger played my steering wheel like animal on the drum and that was a big hit. Sister shouted accounts of the day's events while brother cooed and I multi-tasked my prayers for safety and peace and joy and the classic "help!" And we made it. We pulled up still friends with dry faces.
After the visit with mom, we gathered all the day's things once again (how they can get multiplied and strewn about, I do not know) and I braced myself for the breakdown. I had been warned that it would get apocalyptic up in my car once they said goodbye. I got quiet and let the farewells fill all the space in the air. Mom loves these littles, of that I am sure.
They got belted in my backseat and there was a moment we just kind of teetered there on the cliff. Would we fall over that edge and spend the car ride in apocalypse freefall or would we fly instead?
The music accompanied our ascent and we sang all the way home.
It was like magic.
Why is this round trip car ride so significant? Does it deserve to be published into anonymity on the internet? I say yes and let me tell you why.
These little ones have had life ripped out from under them like a rug. Everything familiar and everything "home" is no longer true - it's all turned upside down. Nothing is as it should be and no one makes sense when they try to explain it to their sweet little souls.
And then they get into my car and I get overwhelmed at the moments we share. What do I say? How do I pour out dump trucks of love when they are belted in the backseat and we only have 30 minutes? How do I become someone familiar?
I've never been so thankful for Christian radio in my life. We sing, I drum, they hum, and we all bop our heads to the sound of truth making melody.
The reality is I don't know. I just don't know how to make them believe they are precious and all this mix up isn't their fault. I don't know how to tell them that their little people world is turned upside down because some big people made bad choices. I don't know how to make them understand there is a God who made them, loves them, and wants to be known by them.
And so we sing. And I pray with broken heart that the truth sinks in: Jesus loves them and keeps every promise He makes.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy
... Boys become kings, girls will be queens Wrapped in Your majesty When we love, when we love the least of these Then they will be brave and free Shout Your name in victory When we love, when we love the least of these When we love the least of these
Break our hearts once again Help us to remember when We were only children hoping for a friend Won't you look around These are the lives that the world has forgotten Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open ... If not us, who will be like Jesus To the least of these If not us tell me who will be like Jesus Like Jesus to the least of these
**As part of my job, I regularly supervise interactions between children and parents with the hope that they can be reunified after the issues have been resolved.