As a teenager and young adult, I used to find great enjoyment in street racing. Bad idea and dangerous I know, but it was fun nonetheless. Kids will be kids, right?
In my teens, I used to drive my boyfriend’s Chevy Z24 while he wasn’t using it. That car was fast! Each time I got behind the wheel I couldn’t help but speed down the roadways. One day I recall revving my engine at a stop light preparing for a race. Right before I took off, I glanced over and a cop was sitting across the light from me facing the opposite direction.
With a smirk on his face he waved his finger at me as we do our children, “no, no”. I’ll never forget that. It was adorable really. So out of respect for authority and wisdom, I didn’t race. That is, not until I reached the next stop light.
In my early 20’s, I bought an old Ford Taurus with a V6 engine. It had lush seating and may have been considered ‘an old person’s car’, but that thing had power. If you’re thinking “that is not a race car” then you’re right. The engine blew within 3 minutes of its very first race. That soft seated sedan lasted me a grand total of 2 weeks.
As I got older, I became more cautious. Speeding down the roadway is a rare occurrence these days. Over the years, I’ve learned just how dangerous it is and that I’m not as invincible as I once thought. Moreover, the idea of causing the death of someone else because of my irresponsible behavior is unimaginable to me. Racing through the streets is a very bad idea and you shouldn’t do it. You could kill someone.
With that said, sometimes we don’t have much of a choice. Today I found myself running very late getting home. My son was to arrive within 15 minutes of my departure from across town. I had 12 minutes of driving to go and fuel to get first. Needless to say, there was no time for delays.
Why is it that when you’re in a hurry people take forever to pump gas? The man in front of me was oblivious to everyone waiting in line behind him, as he enjoyed a 5 minute conversation on his cell phone. Really? The other lanes were flooded with cars too, so I had no others to choose from.
As I sat there glaring at him, I had images running through my head of my son panicking wondering where I was. He’s always had a fear of being left behind or stranded, so the last thing I wanted was to make his fear a reality.
After a very long delay waiting for Mr Courteous, I filled the tank and sped off. Jumping onto the highway, what did I see? Cars barely moving. Crawling at 5-10 miles per hour, with 10 minutes to go and 8 minutes to spare, I hit the nearest off ramp. Two minutes down the road was more traffic, practically at a standstill. Long story short, my son beat me home. He was standing on the porch as I pulled up.
Parking my car and jumping out the door, I called his name. Expecting to see him in tears, terrified with wide eyes, he instead came strolling around the corner calm as could be. After I profusely apologized for being late, I asked him if he was scared standing out there not knowing where I was. He replied, “Not yet. Not until I can see the stars” which was thankfully still hours away. Plus he figured that within an hour someone was bound to be home. Smart kid.
So while I was weaving through traffic racing home in a panic, he was calm without a care in the world. His calm demeanor surprised me greatly and also made me very proud.
My son is much more independent than I sometimes give him credit for. He reminded me today of something that I’ve shared before… never underestimate a person or their abilities.