Many eons ago, when our marriage was new and a Ford Aerostar Extended was my Father-in-law’s pride and joy, the Hubs was involved in a bad accident. The driver who hit him was distracted. This was years before texting and years before cell-based web-surfing. A dude was simply talking on his massive cell phone and driving badly. He ran a red light and smashed into the back of that Aerostar and its precious cargo. FIL’s Aerostar Extended–you remember the kind that was long enough for a 3rd row of back seats–was no longer extended. In fact, it no longer even had a 2nd row of back seats. It had become a mini van. I’ve always said that I was glad I saw my husband first, alive, before I saw that van.
How much of our lives passes us by while we are distracted? How much destruction can we avoid if we just walk around aware?
Distracted driving doesn’t just take place behind the wheel of a vehicle. We can crash and wreck things just as effectively from our couches, from our computers, from our phones, from our kitchens, from that pile of laundry. Distracted driving can be as simple as letting what is good get in the way of what is best.
I was distracted yesterday with something good. World history. Ferdinand and Isabella finally sent Columbus off in search of a new route to India. The crew was getting restless, threatening mutiny. LAND at last! Meanwhile, I was facing a silent mutiny of my own. Lemony was working on her math, and she asked for help. I told her I would help after we finished history with the older two. History was gripping, and it went long. I was feeling the urge to rush through as much world history as I could like I was running out of time. Read. read. READ! Finally, it was Lemon’s turn. The front of her math page was typical for her, but the back took me by surprise–she hadn’t shown any of her work, just answers. Lemon has a math-mind, so when I asked her if she had completed the problems “in her head,” I wasn’t entirely shocked when she said yes. Then she said, “I saw the answers. In my mind.” Hmmmm. Okay. With a little probing, I found out that the little booger had gotten the teacher’s manual out and copied the answers. While I was distracted, my six-year-old learn how to cheat.
Lemony knew what she had done wasn’t quite the right thing, but she knew I was working with the older two, and she wanted a solution to her problem right then. She certainly came up with one. Mom was distracted, and she was inventive. We both learned a valuable lesson yesterday. She learned to “set it aside and go on to the next thing” and I learned that there are many levels of distraction.
I had been trying very hard not to be distracted by emails, blogs, crafts, Facebook, or the telephone. To be available for my kids and not distracted. I have to laugh because my internal cog system that drives me to read, read, READ, to go, go, GO distracted me from one cute little 6-year-old yesterday. World history is good, time with Lemony is best. That said, I needed that lesson. She needed that lesson. No regrets, just knowledge. And with that knowledge, understanding.