From the backseat driver in the rear of the van pipped an annoyed question, “Why are you stopping!” To be fair, his attitude reflected my own just a few frantic minutes before. I had been ushering my feet draggers out the door and gone back for the forgotten items after having started out once already, and we finally were on our way. I was a bit ticked off to be running behind when we’d had plenty of time to reach our destination on time. I loathe being late, and more often than not, when it counts, something goes wrong and we end up late. So my pulling over to the side of the road seemed like a fool thing to do when we were so late already.
What my sweet son did not understand is what this long line of oncoming cars represented. The hood flags passed us waving in the downpour of unseasonal rain. A quick glance ahead revealed I had plenty of time for a life lesson in respect. I explained that this was a funeral procession. That pulling over showed respect for the person who died, and showed respect for their friends and family. It was a way of giving our condolences. I told him that when a funeral passes, it is an honorable thing to stop and to be quiet, and to pray for those family members who are sad and grieving this loss. I explained that we dont know the circumstances, but God does and He can take care of the details.
Just as I finished my 3 kid’s questions and answers, an impatient driver spun around us and raced toward the light only to be ticked off at the inability to turn left. A small break in the procession appeared and he squealed through the line. It shocked my son at the insensitivity of that person. (I oddly hoped it was an emergency and not self centeredness that was at play.)
Drake was suddenly very heated and told me all the ways that person was rude and insulting. He then revealed that he heard every word I had spoken as repeated it back to me as though I hadn’t just told him all these same lessons just minutes ago. I no longer have to wonder if my son will one-day pull over when it comes time to drive. True this is about 9 years off, older than he is now, but somehow I am sure this will stick in his mind for a long while.
You never know when you start your day what kind of life lessons you’ll end up teaching by days end. MY life lesson was that sometimes it is a very respectable thing to be late, to take the time to teach your children, and to care for those you’ve never met.