Landslide

It feels like yesterday I wrote about the song Landslide, but it was years ago.  Over six years, in fact.

Wow.  This life takes my breath away.  It really does.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Fleetwood Mac song that I so fiercely love – it has a claim to be my favorite song, and if not, certainly in the top five – headlined another morning.  It was the first morning back from my magical but exhausting annual reunion with college friends.

I was not, suffice it to say, my best self.

Finally, after some fireworks over breakfast, Grace, Whit and I were in the car to head to school.  I exhaled loudly and buckled my seatbelt.  Sometimes those first 45 minutes of the day feel like a marathon.  I turned the key in the ignition and as I pulled away from our house, the opening notes of Landslide came on the radio.  “Oh, I love this song!” I said loudly as Grace’s fingers approached the radio to change the station.  She left it.

Our drive to school is about 4 minutes and so we drove the entire song.  Unusually, both kids were silent.  I like to think they were listening.  I sang along, and as is true of songs that are so familiar, different words jumped out at me this time.

Children get older, I’m getting older too…

But the song’s theme – change is life’s only constant, and that fact is both sad and scary – is the same.  Tears ran down my face as we drove in silence.  My eyes flicked to the rearview mirror and I saw Whit in the back seat, looking out the window.  His hair is really long and shaggy, but I am loath to cut the summer blond out of it.  He is so big now, so tall, nearing 11.  Grace sat next to me, the mere fact of a child in the passenger seat speaking of Old Kids, of Time’s Passage, of how quickly the years run through my fingers.  I reached up to wipe my wet cheeks and felt her eyes on me.  I kept looking through the front window, singing, driving.  The tension that had filled the car just minutes ago dissapated all at once.  I felt my shoulders loosen, and sensed that happening with both Grace and Whit.

We pulled onto the block where school is as the song finished.  I parked the car.  “I love you guys,” I said quietly, resting my cheek against the seat’s headrest.  They both murmured that they loved me too, and Grace reached for the door.  “Have a good day,” I spoke quickly.  “I’m sorry this morning was rough.”

“It’s okay, Mummy,” Whit said from the backseat.  “That song helped.  We’ll have a better night.”  I watched Grace nod.  They each climbed out of the car, pulled their backpacks onto their backs, and one at a time gave me our secret signs for “I love you.”  Grace jogged across the street into the middle school shuttle, and Whit walked past me into the gates of the lower school.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

It often feels like the answer to these questions is no, but then I look around, and the evidence says yes.  I sighed again and turned the car on again to drive home.


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15 Comments

  1. Posted October 14, 2015 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    Beautiful. Brought tears to me eyes. xo

  2. Posted October 14, 2015 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Correction: Brought tears to MY eyes. Pass the coffee and me Lucky Charms

    admin Reply:

    I liked “me coffee” – was thinking of you like a pirate. xox

  3. Posted October 14, 2015 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Love this. I can see a change in your writing since then, as maybe you can too? Lovely.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you. You know, I can’t really, but probably I’m just too close. I hope it’s a good change!!?? xo

  4. Posted October 14, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I have those moments that suddenly bring me to tears- it’s often a song or a smell or a book or some little moment in my life that reminds me of all the happiness, the safety of the memories, juxtaposed against the absence of my college aged daughter and the apples with which my sophomore son seems to be movin through high school. Landslide for sure.

  5. Nadine
    Posted October 14, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    That helped, for rough days around here, too. Thank you.

  6. Posted October 14, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Oh I’m crying. I just got home from our own morning drive, and as I tweeted to you, in that short 3-minute drive, Landslide came on over the radio! When I grabbed for my phone to snap a picture of the dash, your post was still open on my screen–I’d only just begun to read it, hadn’t even realized that you, too, had listened over the car radio, that this had been where you had your moment with your children. We have *so many* tough mornings over here…tough middles and evenings too. But there are the moments, like these, when the universe just speaks to us and reminds us of what really matters. And all you have to do is listen…as you and your kids did…as you do. xoxo

  7. Naomi
    Posted October 14, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    My girls are young still…4 and 2…but oh my God I FEEL THIS. (As I do so many of your posts) Thank you Lindsey.

  8. Posted October 14, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Oh this song wrecks me, too. In the best possible way. It reminds me of my best friends from college, and the turning point of senior year when we realized we were on our way into the wild world.

  9. Posted October 14, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This really hit me today. (Probably would have yesterday or last week…) You made me cry. Good and bad tears, though, so you are forgiven. 😉 Now I’ll have this song stuck in my head all day. But I don’t mind one bit. I hadn’t thought about the words in years–I’m going to find it online and listen to it later and I will cry again then.

  10. Posted October 14, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful. I am always struck by the way children are quick to forgive. Whit’s words and Grace’s nod – that’s what brought tears to my eyes. Your mothering shows here, Lindsey. What a glorious moment. xo

  11. Posted October 15, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Oh Lindsey, this gutted me! I now must go listen to the song (which I also love:)).

  12. Posted October 15, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    That song is so special, isn’t it? For me for many reasons, but I think it resonates with everyone. Those opening notes just still you in the right way.

    I thought this was interesting. It is what the song is “about” in her own words- and I love that it can be many different things- about being scared, about being afraid to make a decision and move forward, about a father/daughter relationship, about growing up, about taking a chance. It’s about everything.

    http://www.inherownwords.com/landslide.htm

  13. Posted October 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Teary eyed! And this… “It often feels like the answer to these questions is no, but then I look around, and the evidence says yes.” It so often feels like we can’t do it but in actually we are doing it each and every day…

  14. Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Beautiful.

  15. Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how I missed this, but Landslide always makes me weep, too. Il so glad that song came on to soothe and smooth the sharp edges of a rough morning.