Because if someone else wrote this, I would be tempted to wag my little finger at them, tsk, tsk.
However, it IS what is going on around here and and it has made a HUGE impression on the boys.
Last thursday I went to MOPS for the first time in 3 years. We were at the park and it was wonderful to chit chat and catch up with old and new friends alike.
It was time to leave. I gave myself 15 minutes to go pick up Ollie from his preschool speech class(more on this another post!).
I thought I gave myself enough time. However red light, after red light after red light, and I was starting to get a bit nervous. I had the sinking feeling I was gonna be late.
We are instructed NOT to be late to pick up our preschooler because the teachers have to wait outside until mommy arrives. And little people get upset when all the other kids are gone and they are the only ones left.
In my mind, I see little Ollie waiting for mama with tears in his eyes.
I tell myself not to worry or act hurried. Just drive normal.
Another red light that lasts 2-3 minutes. A cop joins me on the left.
I am keenly aware of his presence and he is aware of mine. We drive harmoniously side-by-side, as we get stuck at every red light in town.
I am now officially late in picking up Ollie.
My brains starts to feel fuzzy.
Another light turns yellow and I gun it. The light turns red just before I sail through.
I knew in an instant it was a big mistake. I check the rear view mirror and sure enough the cop has his lights on.
I pull over and marvel at my own stupidity.
"I'm so sorry!" I wail in disbelief, as the officer takes my driver's license and walks back to his car. I quickly dial Ollie's school to let them know that I am now gonna be later than late.
After a bit, the officer walks back to my car. "It's just a warning Miss, but please watch the road next time."
I profusely thank him and am on my merry way. Now driving like a snail and terrified of every light.
I pick up Ollie and the teacher's aid says, "Don't worry! It's ok!"
I feel so very grateful and cannot believe how fortunate I am. I am overflowing with thanksgiving... until I reach my mailbox.
I open the mailbox and quickly sift through. Something catches my eye. A peculiar return address...Traffic Enforcement office? And it was addressed to ME.
Huh? A million thoughts go through my mind all in one second. "Did the cop change his mind? Did he really give me a ticket? No, it would not be in the mail on the same day...would it?"
I tear open my mail in morbid fascination. And much to my shock and horror I discover that I have indeed received a traffic ticket from a violation A WEEK PRIOR, when I went out of town to visit the folks.
Any guesses for my violation?
What? You think I ran another red light? Surely not....
But yes. I ran another red light.
By now, my brain is in a complete fuzz. I am in complete and total shock and denial.
I scan for the ticket price.
Right there on the back reads: BAIL AMOUNT $466. With traffic school and fees, $540.
Bail? What am I? A jail bird?
Well according to my dear friend Angela, I am just a crazy mama in a mini van.
She is right.
I need to SLOOOOOOW waaaaaay down and stop pushing my luck. Cuz my luck ran out big time. I totally deserved this ticket. Funny thing is, I totally scorn red light runners. Hate it when people do that. Hence the tsk, tsk finger wagging that I referred to at the beginning of my story. So I am very annoyed with myself. Looks like Loriloo and I are competing for tickets this month.
I have learned my lesson big time. I am now a much more cautious driver, and for this I am thankful. I was late to a friend's house today and told her, "Sorry I am late! It takes much longer for me to get places now that I can't run red lights." Kidding of course.
I now realize that with 4 kiddos, even when I try my hardest to be on time(get out clothes the night before, pack lunches, wake up early, etc...), there are just some days when nothing goes my way. And I will be late.
And I hate HATE being late. Makes me feel so rude. It totally stresses me out.
However, I am starting to think "better late than never". I totally would rather a friend come over late than not at all.
When Finn and Calvin heard of my 2 traffic violations in 2 weeks, they were buzzing with excitement.
Finn is a ruler keeper at heart and was completely giddy and delighted that I got a ticket. You'd think it was a ticket to Disneyland rather than a traffic ticket(that's what Grandma Betty said!).
Finn had a million questions and is now intently watching my each and every move. We were picking up daddy later that night and I had to make a phone call on my cell while I was parked(with car on) in the parking lot.
Well, this was too much for officer Finn and he wrote me up a ticket as SOON as we got home:
I am finding little tickets and pictures of me breaking the law, all over the house. This one I've entitled, "Crazy mama IN a minivan ON a cell"If you squint, you can see my pink cell phone glued to the left side of my face.
On a more serious note, I was very contemplative that night. Thinking of how often I violate God's perfect law. And how there is no amount of money in the world that can bail me out of that one. It's only God's grace and the free gift of His Son Jesus, dying on the cross, that can pay for my sins. There is nothing I can do to earn this.
I cannot be good enough. I can only confess that I am a sinner, believe that Jesus died for my sins, accept the gift of His Son Jesus and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. And I am forgiven. And one day I get to live with Jesus forever and ever.
And for this I am truly overflowing with praise and gratitude.