“I knew it,” said my husband, shaking his head. “you are one of those people who should never own a red car.”
I’ve been driving slow-and-steady minivans for several years, but before that, I owned cute little cars and…as much as I hate to admit it…I was a bit of a speed demon. Since I had kids, I’d been ticket-free. I was beginning to think this was because motherhood had reformed me, and I was actually a better driver.
A few days ago, I was tooling along in my Crosstour, thinking about all the stuff I had to do and how there simply wasn’t enough time to do it, and how I was already late, and how I needed to get to my next destination, right now! (For a quick yet frighteningly accurate read about what it’s like inside a mama’s ever-percolating brain, check out this article.) My buzzing brain was interrupted by an officer of the law who walked out in the middle of the street to flag me down.
You have to admire that kind of courage.
The officer provided me with a written warning and a firm reminder that I needed to SLOW DOWN. Perhaps he could see from the permanent crease above my eyebrows and the jumble of hockey sticks and dance bags in my backseat that a true speeding ticket and its accompanying fine would put me over the edge. We ended up with a pleasant exchange about kids and busy lives, and I promised: Yes, officer, I will slow down!
For the rest of the day, his words kept coming back to me. Slow down.
Slow down on the road. It’s safer. Speed is one of the top factors in the majority of auto accidents. When you’re speeding, you can’t stop in time for other cars, people, kids on bikes. You can’t react effectively to changes in driving conditions. As hard as this sound, make it a habit to leave 5 minutes earlier when you’re going somewhere so you won’t have to speed to get there. You’ll get there, OK? Slow down.
Slow down in your life as well. After my little brush with the law, I looked at how I was living. Every mama can relate to this–we’re always in a hurry. That day, instead of rushing my kids to the grocery store right after school pickup, I thought, Slow down, and we went home to recharge. I sat down, ate a very late lunch (I’d forgotten to eat that day, too much of a hurry.) My kids decided to rollerblade together and I had the proud mama moment of seeing my son help his little sister. I got to listen to them cooperating and having fun (as opposed to listening to them quarrel and whine in every. Aisle. Of. The. Store.)
It was just an hour. But it was a sweet little break, and it made the whole day better. After all, grocery shopping has waited 3 weeks, what’s another hour? I’m going to keep that warning in my car as a reminder. We all need to slow down a bit. On the road, for safety, and in life, for sweetness.
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