Thursday, March 06, 2008

Driving Lessons

The school year is flying by. I can't believe that next year my oldest child will be in high school! Even my youngest son commented to me that the school year was going fast.

One morning last fall we were driving to school and he said, "Wow, this school year is going fast and I'm not even having fun!" I couldn't help but laugh! I guess he does listen to me when I talk to him...I've said it so many times...'time flies when you're having fun!'

I remembered his comment the other day and I realized that over the years I've had some of my most meaningful conversations with my kids while driving. I've even decided to give these conversations a name...'Driving Lessons'.

Here are a few of my 'Driving Lessons' stories...

While driving my youngest son to fall baseball practice a few months ago he asked me, "How DO you smoke crack and weed anyways????"

Needless to say I almost wrecked the car hearing those words come out of his young mouth. Lord knows where he heard about this stuff...I'm guessing he heard about it on TV. I KNOW it wasn't from us and I PRAY that it wasn't from his friends!

After a few seconds of shock, I regained my composure and told him what I could...which wasn't much since I don't know alot about drugs. Thankfully they were never a part of my life...I hesitate to even take cold medicine most of the time let alone any of the mind altering drugs that are so abundant.

Then I recalled a conversation I had with my daughter recently...she's in middle school now and almost everyday when I pick her up she has a story about something that went on at school. "So and So broke up with So and So...", "So and So fought with So and So..." and on and on. day a few weeks ago we were driving home from school and she asked me a very...EHEM...shall I say 'sensitive' question about sex and...again...I almost fell over! A girl in her class apparently has some obscenities written all over the front of one of her notebooks. My daughter saw this notebook and wanted to know what all of these things meant.

Once again I regained my composure and handled her questions the best I could.

When I recall these stories along with so many others I realize that many of our more serious conversations have taken place while enroute to some outside destination and not our home.

At first I wondered 'WHY??? Why the van???' Then after some thought I put together my own personal theory...the van 'works' for us is simply because there aren't as many distractions--no TV or X Box or computer. And since the space is confined they can't go to another room or outside...they're sitting right next to me.

Now that I've given these life moments a name I told myself that I need to be aware of and pay attention to these little pockets of time. I vowed to try to be conscious of these moments and to soak them up and engage myself in these conversations. I've made a committment to myself to make sure I give my kids the best driving lessons matter how uncomfortable the subject matter!

Like I said at the start...time is flying by so quickly and these 'lessons' just might make all the difference in my childrens' lives!

Until next time,

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