A few months ago Trent and I were driving home from Kansas City.
It was late, past dark, and I was driving.
Just past downtown, this janky van speeds up on my left and proceeds to go the EXACT SAME SPEED AS ME. I look over and realize it’s a car full of nerdy high school boys. The boy in the passenger seat has his head out the window and is yelling.
I don’t know what he said, but it wasn’t malicious. It was playful, like someone in the car dared him to.
They quickly sped up past us, then slowed wayyyyy down to drive evenly with me again.
The kid in the passenger seat’s head is still out the window, hair flying everywhere. He yells some more then they speed up again.
At that moment I realize there is no way they can see me. Trent’s sporty-looking VW has tinted windows, and it’s pretty much impossible to see through them late at night.
So I decide to join in on the fun. I speed up to them, and go the EXACT SAME SPEED.
They slow way down.
I slow down.
They go faster.
I go faster.
It’s obvious that I’m doing this intentionally, and the kids in the van are having an absolutely blast. I can see them laughing.
I asked Trent “Do you think they know a girl’s driving this car?” Trent: “Nope.”
At this point, we are driving directly next to each other. I roll down my window. I will never forget….the pure SHOCK on their faces.
The shock that a grown woman in a sporty car would play into their little “racing” game.
Immediately following this incident I told Trent “Oh my gosh, that’s totally something my mom would do.”
My mom does a lot of playful things. She always has.
We used to drive around town with a long tube we took off of a kiddy dirt-devil vacuum. We would descreetly stick it out the window, duck below the seat and yell through it at people as we drove by. My mom would be the driver, and her goal was to not laugh, or act like anything was unusual. I distantly remember singing happy birthday through the tube while driving through the covered parking garage of Sears at Antioch Mall.
My mom let us TP our own house once, just to know what it was like.
We made a Tarp sled, and mom gave it a try.
She participated in April Fools day every year. She sewed my underwear together once in a long train.
In college I called our house phone, and she answered “Buddy the elf. What’s your favorite color?” And she didn’t have caller ID.
She did the cinnamon challenge, fully knowing that no one had ever actually accomplished swallowing an entire spoonful of cinnamon.
On the rare occasion she packed me lunch, she put jokes in my lunch box…literal pieces of paper with jokes on them.
The list could go on.
As you may know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer this past year (she blogs about it here). I was surprised, but maybe not so surprised, that my mom’s playful spirit was no broken by cancer. I was honored to be her daughter and watch the way she so gracefully took poor news. And how she rejoiced in good news. Death does not scare her.
Just last week, she sent me and my siblings this text:
“Touched this AM with the Lord. Realized I learned how to die from Grandma. I liked how she handled it even though she wasn’t 100% there. Hoped you learned to live from me. Or at least how to trust the Lord thru cancer.”
I have been learning how to live from you for 26 years, mom.