I have a very poor sense of direction. It's so bad in fact, that when Husband and I are on vacation in an unknown city, and I begin to "feel" that we are going the wrong way, Husband says, "Oh good. We must be on the right track."
My spouse also believes that while driving and in doubt of where to go, or perhaps when not paying attention, I will simply take the path of least resistance, in the form of right turns (as opposed to left turns, which require a green light). Of course, by now, an Orange County native, I've got lots of established routes and freeway knowledge, but I still often find myself missing exits, or calling friends for directions when I'm lost in an unfamiliar part of suburbia.
Recently, I've realized that I must do this fairly often. Because my youngest daughter Livie, who is not quite three, has started calling out from the back seat, at random intervals, "Mom, are you going the wrong way?" Usually, I'm not. But sometimes I am.
The point is, my daughter, too young even to ride a tricycle, has lost her trust in Mommy's driving.
Besides the obvious humor in the situation, it made me a little sad to think of my little Livie, powerless in the back seat, stuck in her five-point-harness, wondering if Mommy is steering us all wrong.
As some of you may have read in previous blogs, my six year old Sophia wrote me a song on my birthday. The line in it that broke my heart is "I know I can trust you." I don't think there's anything a mom wants more to hear from her child. As a woman who believes that I am loved by God, I want so much for my kids to get that too. And I know that statistically, children who have trustworthy and kind parents are much more likely to believe that they have a loving heavenly Father. So I take my job of being trustworthy very seriously.
In fact, when the kids are scared, or when they look at me sideways when I tell them to do something that sounds like a bad idea, I'll ask them, "Do you trust me? Would Mommy tell you to do something that wasn't safe or good?" Usually it works. Usually, they do trust me.
Parents who believe in God can't help but see parallels in the relationship between themselves and their kids, and God's relationship with us, his children. I'm no exception. I sometimes feel like the kid in the back seat, strapped into a vehicle that's going down an unknown and possibly dangerous road. I look at God sideways. Seriously, God, do you really think this is the right road?
I believe in those moments that his response is, Amanda, do you trust me? Usually it works. Usually I do. And ultimately, I know God is a better driver than me. Lots, lots better. So I fasten my seat belt. And I hope this is one road my girls choose to follow me down.