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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