When it came to looking for her first vehicle my daughter had her heart set on getting a Nissan Xterra. While other suggestions came her way from friends and family members she never deviated. She had one stalwart supporter—uh…me, her dad. I think that I understand desire, and timing and season of life so I encouraged her, “Honey, for your first car, get whatever you can afford.” And she did. She paid cash for a 2000 Forest Green Xterra. That is what she wanted and that is what she got; a vehicle that could carry friends, and snow boards. And for 7 weeks she had the best car in the family.
Yeah, just 7 weeks. While on a trip to the store another young lady coming the opposite direction ran the red light and totaled Lauren’s first sweet ride.
We thank God that Lauren and her passenger, her sister, Alayna, were ok. In our Lord’s kind providence two men from our church happened by right after the incident. While the traffic assumed another route around the two vehicles and their debris, Lauren even assured the other driver that it (the accident) was ‘ok’ and gave the girl a hug.
Like most parents, I dreaded the day that my children would finally make that pilgrimage from the car seat to the driver’s seat. But Lauren did well. During her initial ‘Learner’s Permit’ phase, when the new driver has to be accompanied by a licensed adult, I would sometimes doze—not so much an indication of fatigue but of confidence in her motor skills.
So now the search is on for her next automobile. But there is a token, a reminder that she carries away from this experience.
Her last responsibility was to turn in her license plates to the DMV. So, she and I and her brother, Garrett went over to the auto salvage yard where her Xterra had been towed after the accident. While Lauren and I searched for anything that she might have left behind or under seats, Garrett took the screwdriver I had handed him and removed the plates. But he also did something else…
While removing the license plates he noticed a few fragments of the grill and secretly put them in his pocket. During the weeks following the loss of Lauren’s car and her birthday in January, Garrett took one of those fragments and fashioned it into a necklace. We were all surprised at his creative thoughtfulness.
My kids amaze me all the time just like yours amaze you. And though I know that this particular article sounds way too much like it should be printed on pink paper, I cannot help but sometimes ‘gush’ about my children.
And on this note, they really are turning out pretty well. There is much that I wish I could have given them early on. There are many things that I wish that I could give them now. And I would be the first to say that as a parent, I am just average at best.
So when I see them being considerate, responsible, creative, good natured, kind-hearted…I know that I am experiencing more of the goodness and grace of God. There really is no other way to explain it.
As Christians, we know that there are no such things as ‘accidents’. We also know that out of chaos comes that which is Good; light out of darkness, beauty from ashes.
Out of the wreck of my attempts at being a righteous father to my children there is glory fashioned from the debris. Fragments, that by grace, become jewel-like and adorn their lives finding place in their character, their actions, and their conversation.