I apparently do not post that often anymore. Well I have never been a very frequent blogger, but this post has been rolling around for a while in my head and I felt that I need to put pen to paper, (in the figurative digital sense).
This Christmas season we put about 3,300 miles on the rental car driving to various holiday gatherings. From Oklahoma to Louisiana, to Texas, to Missouri, we spent many hours on the road. To some this may sound like a nightmare, but I actually enjoyed the road trip. The girls did very well, thanks in part to the movies we had playing for them. However, for a good part of the trip, we were also to enjoy the free XM radio in the rental and the Christmas channels.
I’ll leave out how I’ve heard about a dozen versions of every Christmas song imaginable and how it took mile 2,450 for me to finally hear my favorite (There’s No Place Like Home For the Holidays)…what really struck me was what I did hear. A simple song that I had not heard for years.
Thank God For Kids.
I did not even know it was a Christmas song but apparently, it was a hit from the Oak Ridge Boys Christmas album in 1982, (though originally written and performed much earlier than that by another artist).
The song was never one I disliked. I enjoyed it, but I do not think I ever fully appreciated it until now. Here is the scene as the song comes on the radio…I’m driving as dusk was peaking over the horizon. Both girls had fallen asleep in the back, having spent the day with family and hours on the road. We had stopped and played and laughed all throughout the drive, but now they were napping. The intro to the song plays and the familiar chords strike a memory of my childhood hearing the tune played during a simpler time. But then the words fill my head…
“If it weren’t for kids have you ever thought, there wouldn’t be no Santa Claus…”
I turn up the radio with a smile, expecting just to hear a song from my past.
“We’d all live in a quiet house, Without Big Bird or a Mickey Mouse, And Kool Aid on the couch, Thank God for kids.”
My eyes glance in the rear-view mirror and I can see Karis sleeping…her lips pursed and blonde hair swept just off her face; the picture of serenity. I move the mirror slightly to see Selah in her car seat. She’s sleeping with her face in almost a smile. You can almost see her world expanding day-by-day as she learns, grows, and explores everything around her. It wouldn’t be a trip with Selah without a million questions about what we’re doing, who we’re seeing and why everything is happening.
“Daddy, how does this thing fly? And a hundred other where’s and whys I really don’t know but I try. Thank God for kids”
All of the sudden I’m having a moment that only music can provide. A way that a chord combined with just the right words can enter your soul. Like a candle flickering in a dark room, I begin to see all the times I’ve already been able to spend with these precious little ones.
“When I look down in those trusting eyes. That look to me I realize, there’s love that I can’t buy…Thank God for kids.”
And as the chorus plays, I think of all the smiles and laughs we’ve had that day. I think of all the fun times we have had and it’s like a small movie, playing on and old projector. From the times when I would sing Selah to sleep when we brought her home from the hospital, to the games I play with Karis. My mind tries to imagine what is next for them, what is next for me…what is next for me, for this family? I do not know. That is the grand adventure of it all. I begin to say a prayer, that God could grant me the wisdom I need to be the leader of this family and the father these girls need. A prayer that He will give me the ability to protect them and provide for them as their needs change. It is an awesome responsibility. And then…
“When you get down on your knees tonight, and thank the Lord for His guiding light. Pray they turn out right. Thank God for kids.”
This song started as a simple flashback to my childhood, growing up in the country; listening to country music. It has ended as a prayer of thanksgiving for all that I have been blessed with and a reminder that only the best lies ahead.
P.S. And in finding the right version of this song to post, it also made me remember how awesome the 80s and 90s hair and clothing styles were. Thank God For Kids, and Thank God for mullets.