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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Wanted to Scream: YOU DON'T UNDERSTAAAAAAND!!!!

I'm kind of a stickler about seat belts. Ask my friends and they'll tell you I don't bend the rules much when it comes to who sits in the front, which kid is in which forward-facing, lap-belted or latched booster or highback seat with or without headrest.  It matters. It's important. It can save my babies if we're in a terrible accident.

My kiddos and I have spent many, many hours in the car in their young lives between traveling to visit out-of-town family, to and from Granddaddy's doctor appointments and our many fun outings too.  They know the seatbelt drill so well that I sometimes laugh when Brian hops in to drive and asks, "Is everybody buckled?"  Of course they're buckled....they've been buckling since they were born.

So when a lady saw Ava out of her seat belt in our Excursion this morning, she rolled down her window to flail her hands and yell at me "to get those kids in seatbelts!!!!!"  I kind of came unglued.  We were on the highway by then, so I couldn't yell back my side of the story. I find that some of my most anxious, angry or heartbroken times in my life are when I feel like I'm doing the absolute best that I can and it's still not good enough for...fill-in-the-blank....Brian, my kids, myself or the lady in the van behind me.

If I had time to flail my hands and scream back, I would've said something like this:

Thank you for showing concern, but you don't know the rest of the story.  You see, we have a recently adopted son who occasionally gets aggressive while he's in his car seat and will lash out at whoever sits next to him.  After he repeatedly smacked, hit and pulled the ponytail of my 7-year old daughter, I finally told her (while we were at a full stop at a red light,) to climb to the safety of a back row seat. 

That's what the lady saw. But there's so much more to life than what we see. People, sometimes you just need to say, "I'm sure they're doing the best they can." Or, if you must intercede, could you please start with, "Can you tell me the rest of your story?"

So that lady did teach me a lesson today. It just had nothing to do with seat belt safety.

More listening. Less screaming parenting advice from the window at 35 MPH.  Point taken.

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1 comment:

  1. All too true even in normal day-to-day conversations. Sometimes people come in during the middle and hear something that seems absurd and start making comments to it. Thanks for the reminder.

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