This time, before the team left American soil, there was a passport debacle that culminated in a sick 17-year-old full of Prednisone accompanying me to the U.S. State Department Passport Agency in Atlanta at 3:00 a.m. He plugged his phone into the dashboard and turned up the volume past decency at 3:00 in the morning.
It was a fun three and a half hours with my boy, who's old enough now to no longer mind me calling him a boy. He has some music that would have been torture to me -- rap, hard rock. But he is maturing and instinctively chose songs that are enjoyable to us both. I didn't know most of them as we rocked our way to Atlanta at about 80 decibels. Adrian listens to music with every fiber of his being even without the Prednisone.
He introduced me to Andy Grammar, and his love for the streets of Los Angeles where he got his start. We watched the video with me only peeking from time to time, lifting my eyes momentarily from the road. Adrian may or may not have cried with joy for a man's fidelity to his passion and its humble beginnings enough to continue his street music even after he "made it." It was good enough to listen to again, so he hit repeat. Lyrics about ears to hear him dream were too good not to hear again.
He played some John Mayer, Anthem Lights, Maroon Five and Gravity by Sarah Bareilles, and we belted out together the ache of unrequited love with lyrics that pull at you like gravity and you fall into them. I think it was 4:40. We were going seventy down I-20 last Monday morning.
The morning before, I commented to Mike while we walked from the parking lot to the church about what a peaceful morning it had been at home getting ready. Sunday mornings before church aren't always peaceful at our house when responsibilities rush us. But that day, three kids were walking side by side twelve feet ahead of us in the morning sun, and for a minute walking beside my man watching my children I might have beamed as brightly as the sun.
It didn't last. On the way home from church, we revived our going back and forth that started Saturday about whether to get Adrian to a doctor before Monday or to wait for a smaller bill at the the doctor's office on Monday. Tuesday's mission trip was looming large, and Adrian wasn't feeling any better, our arguing only making him feel worse. How did I not see this?
He'd also tried to warn his sister's friend about something that might become another threat to her infant Christianity, which is being neglected because her mother is less than thrilled with her daughter's new found faith. It was taken the wrong way and blew up in his face. It stirred the proverbial hornets' nest and he's smarting from the sting of that too. There are tears before Sunday lunch, a mad dash to the urgent care center just after lunch, and then the discovery of an expired passport.
Some days are a pig pile and it can be hard to breathe under there.
A little birdy told me on the way to Atlanta the next morning that Mike loves Jason Derulo's Breathing and when I heard the words that were romantic and passionate with that driving beat, I asked the birdy to type the title and artist into my phone so I wouldn't forget and could dedicate it this trip.
And then this week I read some writing about women having it all -- or not -- and my thoughts went back to that article I read three weeks ago. I thought of Alicia Keyes and "If I Ain't Got You" and her take on wanting it all and really only wanting him. I thought about dedicating that.
But now that it's time for a dedication, I'm thinking more about my son, who is soon becoming a man, one I'm proud of and one I like very much. I'm thinking about his heartbreak, and his bright future, and such love for his sister's friend that he feels like her big brother too. I'm thinking about that guitar he plays and the music he writes and the microphone beside his bed and all that God might use him to say to the world someday. I'm thinking about all 6 feet of him and wondering how it's even possible to love this much.
Right now I think of how he tried to take the keys from me, insisting that he drive home, but I squeeze them tight and win the fight. You needed your rest, and you pouted for five then slept the rest of the way home. I drove, feeling alone in the car while you slept. I blared the music just like you did, but it wasn't the same without you. So this one's for you, Adrian.
I love you,