A Prayer For My Daily Commute
Jesus, take the wheel. No, seriously, I could use some help driving this morning. The baby still nurses at 4:00 a.m., and I seriously cannot see straight until I get some coffee in my system.
Speaking of coffee, do you think you could make the drive thru line at Starbucks not wrap around the building this morning? I feel like working moms and moms with babies should have some kind of special “fast pass,” like at Disney World, so we can jump ahead in line of anyone who is carrying a crossword puzzle or wearing flip flops—because really, no one goes to anything important in flip flops.
As the traffic signal turns from red, to green, then to yellow, and back to red again, all without me moving so much as an inch forward, remind me of the importance of being content with where I am, and also please remind the driver in front of me that he should put down his f*cking cell phone and pay attention to the road.
When I do finally pass a swerving, distracted, or otherwise slow-reacting fellow driver, and see her texting away or talking animatedly (waving both arms!) on her phone, and a slew of curse words begins to form in my mouth, remind me of the little ears listening intently to me in the backseat, and grant me the presence of mind to stay calm and quiet—or perhaps just grant me immediate access to a delicious, warm breakfast pastry with which to stuff my face, rendering me temporarily mute.
Lord, forgive the drivers who inexplicably come to a complete stop at a flashing yellow light, for they know not how to drive and are complete morons.
Please be with the construction workers that I see every day on the side of the road, standing around and pointing at things, but seemingly never actually accomplishing anything. Give them skillful, quick hands to do their jobs and then to clear away giant orange cones from my path before I take down a few cones for them.
When I see what appears to be a small child behind the wheel of a giant SUV, and it dawns on me that this is what 16-year-olds actually look like now, remind me that I, too, drove unattended at that tender, young age. But then again, I also regularly rode in the backseat of a sky blue station wagon without a seatbelt in the ’90s, and I’m pretty sure no one would claim that needs to happen again, ever. Surely, Lord, your will for this generation is to improve upon both the safety record and fashion choices of our parents, starting with no driving until the age of 18 and possibly even resulting in requisite safety helmets until age 21. (Bonus points if those helmets also keep kids from talking on their cell phones, making out, and looking cool.)
In the event that I need to put on makeup in the preschool parking lot, or pump while I’m driving, or break down in tears after a hard day, or otherwise transform my car into a veritable lounge-on-wheels, shield me from the harsh stares of others—especially truckers, who should seriously be able to commiserate with me a little bit about feeling like I live in my car.
But mostly, Lord, help me to arrive home at the end of my work day in one piece, kids in tow, with minimal pleas and whining for fast food, both from the backseat and from my seat, because, man, does a greasy hamburger sound good right now or what?
And after the kids are in bed and I am tempted to look lovingly at my husband and think, “The kids are so great; maybe we should have another one,” recall to my mind the moment my son attempted to bludgeon me in the head with a sippy cup during rush hour traffic while his baby sister cheered him on. Remind me that goldfish do not poop on my carpet or wake me up at 3:00 a.m. to tell me they are hungry, and wouldn’t I rather have a goldfish? But, just for the record, Lord, I’d rather clean up poop from my carpet than from inside a car seat, and that’s true at any hour of the day, on any day of the week. Amen.
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