Give Me Jesus on the Line

Don't try to tell me
What number to call
My mother used this number
When I was very small
And everytime she dialed it
She always got 't call the
Please give me Jesus on the line

We had just finished re-bandaging Sam's paw, when my cell phone rang and I hopped up to grab it.

Snowman sounded terrible as he said hello, very different from the way he seemed to be when he called earlier today.

"Mr. W isn't coming back."

Mr. W is his clarinet teacher.

There are many kinds of helplessness in parenting, and I've been through some before, but this just made me hurt for my boy, knowing there is nothing I can do.

I asked if he still wanted to go back next year, not knowing who will be coaching him through college and conservatory auditions.

"Yes," he answered, one of many monosyllabic responses that, along with periods of grief-filled silence, formed our conversation.

We don't know yet what Snowman's possibilities really are, but we were counting on Mr. W to help him make the most of them. Snowman wants to be a musician; he really cares about nothing else, and he works hard to show us all, his family and his friends and, yes, his teacher, how committed he is.

He's not grown-up, not a college student even, not a man, like his brother, still my child–well, they both are–and I am trying to learn how to parent via cellphone, to find some way to reassure in the ether, to find some way to touch the boy who is so far away and yet so close.

At the top of the stairs coming up from the lake, he found a little turtle. When we hung up, or rather closed our cellphones, he was not alone. And neither was I.

Oh prayer is the number
Faith is the exchange
Heaven is the street
And Jesus is his name
Please give me Jesus on the line

("Operator" by William Spivery)

13 thoughts on “Give Me Jesus on the Line”

  1. Oh Songbird–how much you are carrying these days. I ache for you and send you all kinds of hugs and love and prayers for better days. And Snowman–((((o))))

  2. oh, sad! I know how hard it is to lose a teacher. I hope Snowman, and mama, find a way to navigate this transition.

  3. ohhhh… this is just so heartbreaking. blessings and peace for all of you.

  4. Let us hear more about parenting through cell phone calls. We all have to do it.
    So sorry about Mr.W’s departure. Such a sad hard loss for Snowman!

  5. Hugs for both of you…I’m confident that the Powers That Be will ensure a teacher of equal calibre to Mr W, but that won’t help the immediate pain…and as for parenting by phone, oh I know, I KNOW. Ouch all round. But what feels like way too little is, by God’s grace, enough and our children seem to manage in ways we’d not have foreseen.
    Blessings xxxx

  6. Awww, man! I didn’t think about THIS part of the equation when we talked earlier. I’m sure sorry for this loss for him and this pain for you. I know how hard it is to lose a Teacher (capital T) and also a little about watching a child disappointed. 😛 Worse than being disappointed yourself.
    I hope Mr. W. can help Snowman transition well to a new teacher as he prepares for his own new step.
    Lifting you folks up in prayer.

  7. I hate it when things that disappoint my kids like this happen.

  8. Oh, dear.
    My son lost his favorite teacher this year. The man was fired in a swirl of rumor, innuendo and feuding among teachers. Lots of charming, adult behavior all around.
    It really impacted Matt’s feelings about the school he had unreservedly loved until then. Impacted his school performance, too.
    I don’t know how I could have dealt with it by cell phone. I don’t know how (or even if) I’ve dealt with it here at home as it is.
    Don’t you just wish that lessons in the unfairness of life could just leave our kids alone?

  9. KathyR, I’m so sorry to hear that. Mr W is moving on to teach at the college level, so it’s a great opportunity for him. But it still leaves Snowman wondering “what’s next?”

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