Unintentionally it’s become a ritual.
As Angela walks out the door, car keys in hand, I say “Drive Safely”.
This time she smiles exasperatedly at me and responds, “I always try.”
It’s her smirk that permeates the veneer of my thin skin illuminating dark places inside me where fears reside and I realize that my words are primarily self-protective, a coping mechanism to combat the helplessness I feel as my princess, who is precious to me, ventures out on the open road.
So, I process out loud saying, “I tell you to Drive Safely not because I think you need a reminder, but because I feel anxiety inside and putting words to it somehow gives me the illusion that I have an iota of control. “
And there it is, my Achilles heel laid bare, again—
Fear propels me to grasp for control.
And it is exposed in another snapshot of daily life.
She could spiritualize it, minimize my struggle, even shame me for a lack of faith. She could roll her eyes with disdain.
But she pauses and smiles gently, softly and says, “Well, I’ll consider it a benediction then.”
I smile too.
“That would be perfect. I love that idea,” I reply.
“You can even cross me if you like,” she adds.
And she demonstrates the motion of tracing the shape of a cross in the air and explains, “As a prayer it can mean, ‘May the cross always be before me.’ ”
And in the symbol I see it. When the cross is before me, I remember who He is, which gives definition to who I am and who she is and fear is replaced with peace, worry with trust.
And in this sacred moment, we are walking on holy ground.