I have been an emotional nightmare lately. Wishy washy, frustrated, bitchy, and overall…borderline pathetic. In epic proportions. The weeks feel like they are just flying by in a blur of soccer practices, saxophone lessons, work functions and other stuff that really isn’t all that appealing to me. Tonight I was dreading soccer practice with Faith. Mostly because I am just exhausted. But the kid loves her soccer practice, and although I was mustering 26 excuses for us to miss practice, one look into those eyes, and I knew we were about to get in the car.
As we were driving, she did as she always does and began to chatter about her friends at school, her homework, how much she loves soccer practice and so forth. She chattered until Luke Bryan’s, “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” came on. She turned the song up and belted it out like she owned every word. When it came to a close, she turned it down and said to me, “You know what Mom? When Daddy finally says to me, Faith he is a good guy, I will let you go out on your very first date, I want it to be with a guy like that.”
Confused I asked her, “Like Luke Bryan?” (I am loving her high standards!)
“No, I know I can’t date Luke Bryan,” she laughs and rolls her eyes, “A good man. With a truck, and cowboy boots, that picks me up and treats me really good, and sings every song on the radio with me. I want to walk through a cotton field on a summer day with him. And I want Daddy to like him.”
“Oh,” I say, because I can find no other word at the moment. But after she said it I sat there thinking of how pure her mindset was, how she was focused on the romance, the true love that exists in the world.
Lately I have been pretty hard on true love. Once a big believer in all things fairytale and happy ending, I’ve found myself to be more of a cynical, bullshit calling, flag thrower. But as I sat there in the car, watching the cotton fields roll by under the cloudy Alabama sky, I felt the spark. I remembered. I was reminded.
At soccer practice I was completely blown away by all the practice she has put in lately. She has gone outside daily and played by herself and worked on her footwork and skill. I watched this child of mine and she brought something back in me. Something I feel like has been missing for a while. It’s spirit. The girl just has it. In everything that she does.
Once we were back in the car, I was glowing and handing her huge amounts of praise for her hard work and diligence. She really impressed me tonight. She sat there with a giant blushy grin on her face as we switched the iPod on for our customary Taylor Swift blare fest ride home. Tonight she asked for a different song though. She asked me to play, “Long Live.”
I was surprised she asked for this song, it is one of my favorites, but I never realized how much she liked it. The song always takes me back to my childhood. There are 5 people who it always reminds of completely. When I hear it I am transported back to classroom days with my best friend Mellow. I can see her sitting beside me, passing me a note, she’s beautiful, smart, and honest to a fault. I trust her, still… more than myself most days.
It reminds me of Stuart, riding in his car, always the underdog… forever my best friend. He knew me better than I did then, and usually still now.
It reminds me of my little sister Chelsi and how she hid behind the oak tree in the front yard when I left for basic training. She was crying and I was leaving her without the shield of a big sister. This song reminds me of her standing there looking lost.
It reminds me of my Mom, and how she always cheered for me. She still cheers for me. She always said to stand up and do what is right, what is different, what I can. Give my best, fight the fight, speak for those with no voice.
I am telling you all this dear reader, because as I sat there listening to this song, I wasn’t prepared for what she would say next. She turned it down and said, “This song, this song right here…. reminds me of you. You taught me how to be strong. I can rule the world Mom.”
I just sat there, glowing… my eyes full of tears. After a week of wanting to rip my hair out, I wanted to burst from the seams with sheer joy. That’s the thing about Faith.