My heart rings at 2:47pm
My eldest daughter is 16 this year. That is usually an age that teenagers look forward to because they become eligible for a new level of independence and responsibility. Yes, we all know that rite of passage as the driver’s license.
For Lauren, that rite of passage is one more item to add to the list that she will most likely never reach. Maybe you don’t know Lauren, if not, here is a picture of her usual mode of transportation:
Okay, not really, though that would be cool if her wheelchair looked like this, hers is a normal electric wheelchair. She has never walked and never will due to the extent of the damage that was caused by her Spina Bifida. We are very fortunate that she has use of her arms and thank God for that blessing.
I know that there are lots of people in chairs that drive on a daily basis. The reason they can pull this off is because they have an attention span that is longer than the flight of the next bird or the flash of a squirrel on a sidewalk. Both of which would cause my daughter to forget that she was driving a vehicle and become the hood ornament of some other vehicle. So it is safe to say that she will never drive… and we are okay with that.
So what’s this post about then? While she may not experience the freedom and responsibility of driving, she has taken a big step this year in that she has to come home by herself. My wife went to work this year and although she is only about 2 blocks away from home, Lauren has to get off of the bus and make her way into the house by herself. This is a huge step for all of us. It was scary just thinking about what that would look like when we discussed it before the school year began.
In order to alleviate my worries that she would come home and not be able to get into the house due to an electrical outage or a myriad of other imagined issues, we purchased a cell phone for her. Every day she has to call ME and let me know that she has made it into the house safely. (By the way, the personnel on the bus cannot leave until she has made it into the house). I know to expect the call around 2:47pm every school day. There are days that I am afraid I may miss the call so I put my cell phone into my left shirt pocket, right next to my heart. It is on vibrate so as not to disturb my co-workers… but its a joy to feel my heart ring at 2:47pm.
I answer: “Hello Sweety, are you home?”
Her reply: “Yep.”
Me: “Did you close the garage door?”
Me: “How was school?”
Her: “Yep.” (she doesn’t say that… I just didn’t want to break the pattern. She actually says “It was good.”)
Me: “Okay, I love you. Your sister will be home soon. Call me if you need anything.”
Her: “Okay, love you too.”
Me: “See you soon.”
Her: “Okay, bye.”
There have been a couple of times that I didn’t answer my phone soon enough and her call went to my voice mail. I would call her back before she was finished leaving a message and have the above conversation but I would still go back and listen to her message after talking to her on the phone. In her messages, she always says the same thing, “Hi Daddy, I am home. I closed the garage door. See you soon.”
How about you, is there a time in the day when “your heart rings”?