We're pushing through a particularly Canadian winter night drive, one headlight blown - the other piercing weakly through heavy flakes that fall like offensive dandruff on the dark shoulders of the highway. All-seasons, obviously designed in a part of the world with no knowledge of black ice or slush, catch and grind in our timid parade behind a lumbering plow who's flashing lights twinkle like a Christmas tree and make me feel safe.
Liam is crying softly in the back seat and I cringe against the shuffle and smear that means he's just wiped a snotty nose on his coat sleeve. He's upset because Zander is sitting in the front seat with his new Pokemon game and he wants to watch him play. It's almost past bedtime. This is our regular Monday night, slipping through the dark night to a worship practice where I carry my guitar through an unlit church, settle children in the nursery with a pointless plea that they not make a mess and meet my team in the sanctuary for an hour and a half.
And like a storm suddenly clearing, Liam cries out with sunshine in his voice, "What in da worwld?" I can see him in the rearview, forehead pressed against the cold window, breath making little puffs of condensation on the glass. "I ten see Dander's DS out da window!" The reflection against the darkness makes it seem like a screen is floating just beyond the car, hanging suspended like the moon, and he's brilliantly happy. "It's dust like da drwive-in!"
We carry on, part of a procession now, one of seven vehicles behind the heavy-footed plow.
"Mommy?" Liam's voice floats up from the back, sleepy now.
"Does Desus live in da desert?"
I laugh softly, "No, Liam, Jesus lives in heaven."
He's taken aback. "What? He's DEAD?"
Zander closes his DS and cranes his face around the seat to face his brother. "No, Liam, remember? Jesus died on the cross and then he came back to life and he flew up in the clouds and disappeared into heaven."
"Ohhhhh," Liam says, "like Superman."
Zander turns back around, plow light alternating his face between blue and red. "Exactly!"