So my son who goes to school in Boston had this little anecdote for me. A few nights ago, he heard an ice cream truck, and wanted some ice cream. So he ran out of his dorm and followed the truck. The truck had pulled into a parking lot. My son hopped the fence. Then he realized, the ice cream truck was amongst all the parked cars. It was dark and the ice cream man was standing alone. There was one yellow light illuminating the parking lot. My son decided against the ice cream and ran back to his dorm. Once inside the dorm, he mentioned the ice cream truck. “Oh, you mean the crack truck,” said his flat mate.
After hearing this, I just shook my head and said, “Thank you Jesus, nothing happened.” This is a prayer I used to say routinely when I had toddlers, and would see near misses all the time (Like the time I watched my daughter fall toward the edge of a sharp table and miss it by 1/16th of an inch).
When I was facing the eldest child’s imminent departure for college and was burdened with terrible anxiety, I went to talk to a priest. He said, “God will watch out for your child, you know.” And I answered sincerely, “Yes, I know, but I think I can do a better job.” He laughed. I sort of still feel that way. Though my anxiety levels have plummeted (thanks to prayer and positive brain re-wiring).
In one of my daughter’s lyrics (yes, the one who moved to NYC and Nashville), she sings, ” when pigs fly and I see my Mama high” to explain an impossibility. I do not think I am better than anyone. In fact I am a deeply flawed person. But I am a very good mother. I believe I am a good mother because I experienced a lot of pain and grief prior to becoming a mother, and I have never forgotten what it is like to be a child.
So when I read the Boston news about four shootings this weekend, and hear my son talk about being warned never to walk in the Fenway at night, and
hear about the ice cream truck, I do turn to prayer.
In fact, a lot of the time I spend alone, I find that I am praying for my kids. I’ve turned into a classic Filipino mother. I just wish I had the veil, the plastic kneeler with a snap, and a bundle of novenas. I could use a church like Quiapo or Baclaran. But, being in the USA, I settle often for “God is everywhere.”
It’s odd to live in a secular country. My reality is so heavily influence by what is unseen to human eyes, that it feels rather like a masquerade at times. I’m wearing God’s ears out. “Take care of the kids, take care of us all, take care of the world. Bring back the lost, heal the sick. Help the Philippines, help the USA, help Baguio. Help my friend find true love, help our neighbor find their cat, help us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And another day is lived.